Visualizations for Action

By Chris Varosy

Elevator Pitch

Harness the power of data by visualizing it! Learn strategies for designing visualizations and dashboards that bring the insight your users need to make decisions and take action.


Big data is exploding, but we need the right lenses to tease insight out of the noise. Visualization design requires business and number sense, abstraction ability and many other skills not typically asked of a designer. We’ll discuss strategies for designing visualizations and dashboards that bring the insight users need to make decisions. Starting with understanding users and their needs, we’ll reverse engineer the story that solves their problems. How do we progressively disclose that story? How can we use available data dimensions to show important patterns? What filters and options should we expose? How do we make it work for colorblind people, on phones, and in German? How do we make it perform at scale for data sets big and small? What are the considerations for specific graphing packages? What about pushing it out to other applications and media? This talk will help you tackle all of these considerations and whip your data into insightful information.


So far I’ve done this talk in Denver, Los Angeles, Winnipeg and Burlington for both UX audiences and Software development audiences. There is a huge demand for data visualization, and it’s spreading into consumer apps as the universe of data grows. IoT is especially going to explode the amount of data that can be analyzed. Today, we only analyze 0.5% of the data out there, and there is a gold mine of valuable insight in it. This talk arms people with the interdisciplinary skills needed to help make use of that untapped data.