Archive for November, 2010

From by Jakob Nielsen:

Uncovering navigation shouldn’t be a major task: Make it permanently visible on the page. Small children like minesweeping (passing the mouse around the screen to see what’s hidden), but teenagers don’t like it, and adults hate it.


      I don’t like having to work to find things I want on the web. If I go to a retailer’s website, I want to see the products and get a price. Those two pieces of information should practically hit me in the face. But that doesn’t contradict the notion that everyone likes a surprise. Utilized skillfully at the appropriate time, a violation of expectation can delight and endear the child within. Or really annoy the adult without.

Turns out, Google’s charts making service allows for some pretty inspired work. The following is basically a line chart with some math geekery:

chart art

      I’m always trying to be a better communicator, and visual aids can be very helpful. If you happen to be one of the one of the 99.99999% or so of the people without fancy chart making tools and even the thought of having to draw a straight line has you a little intimidated (thank you downgrading-of-art-education-in-the-public-system), perhaps Google Chart Tool is a good, free, and open way to produce clear, useful, information visuals. Or art. Of course, I’m sure there is a greater number of people who are more intimidated by funny computer code than pen and ink. But it’s not all just code. Also, perhaps the tool is an easily accessible way to give some computery stuff a try and see some instant results.

      As cool (and minimal, really) as all the art stuff is, I’m just trying to get to know the API better (link to Google Chart API Docs here). So rather than dive head first into some visual display of quantitative analysis, I had some fun comparing the Dallas Cowboys and everybody’s hero, Manny Pacquiao (disclaimer: only sports fans will really get this chart):


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