Details Matter

Recently I’ve noticed a few examples where smallish visual design details really matter.

What Colin Ware in “Visual Thinking for Design” refers to as “multiscale structure” in shown-off very effectively in Vizster and SocialAction.



Another example is the way that Thinkbase constructs links of similar types:

Notice how the actors & roles aren’t linked directly to the film but go via intermediate nodes. And also see how well the space is used and how the links are similar lengths & short – both of these are great for aesthetics and link-following tasks.

Both these approaches build on the position visual variable to effectively to ‘clump’ the like-nodes together. But these designs also add other visual variables (connecting line, enclosing shape) which assist visual pattern finding, and importantly can offer affordances for interactivity too.

1 Response to “Details Matter”


  • about the third graph :
    it goes beyond the visualization thing, but is also about data model : ie how do you model a phone call ? Alice linked to Bob, with the link containing timestamp, etc ? Or Alice linked to her phone linked to a unique call (witth timestamp, etc), linked to Bob phone, linked to Bob (ok ?), and the phones and call also linked to the cell site coordinates, etc ? which info do you forget, which one do you isolate on your graph ?

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