Monday, 18 April 2011

Thought for the week

"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity." - General George S. Patton, Jr.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Thought for the week

"Statisticians know that if you put a man's head in a sauna and his feet in a deep freeze, he will feel pretty good - on the average."

Friday, 8 April 2011

It's sunny!

When it's sunny, which it is at the moment, do more people buy via their mobile vs. their desktop?

Watch this space!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Monday, 4 April 2011

Visualising stuff

I've always prided myself on my ability to visualise things. Whether it's a proposition, a project vision or some data. I'm not exactly a natural and I have to work hard at it. I've studied the art, and I've tried to develop my understanding of what does and doesn't work. And I've got to a place where I feel comfortable with my ability to get it right, but I'm always trying to improve.
I've loved the fact that others seem to be picking up on this art-form in ever increasing numbers. A picture really can speak a thousand words. However, I've now got to admit I come across more pointless info-graphics and visualisation that simply doesn't work than I come across best practice examples.
I have some feelings and views on why this is happening:

  1. Not everyone can do this well, but a lot of people can use software that creates nice visual outputs - so they just give it a go.
  2. People don't get the fact that it is a skill and you really need to understand visualisation techniques to get it right - so they just give it a go.
  3. It's got to work for the audience its intended for. Therefore to get it right you've got to understand your audience. People don't always invest the time to achieve this - but they just give it a go.
  4. Only a few people really ever understand the breadth of a subject (sometimes no one). People aren't often honest with themselves - so they just give it a go.
  5. It's not always the answer and it isn't always needed or helpful. It is, however, a fashionable thing to do - so they just give it a go.

There are probably more reasons why this is happening. I hope people ultimately don't think the benefits of visualisation are in any way reduced by the sometimes awful examples they come across. When it's done well it really can enlighten people and keep a vision in the front of everyone’s mind.