Hollie Lubbock – UI design for open data

Using design to facilitate understanding.

How design can help communicate open data

If you’re not good at number crunching, open data is not easy to interpret and learn from. Visualising it with maps and graphs makes it much more accessible. The data has to be good from the start though.

Can infographics save lives? Probably yes. Florence Nightingale mapping causes of death. London Underground map…

  • Strive for simplicity and clarity
  • Allow users to make up their own mind
  • Inspire people to create something with the data

Who is using open data?

Cultural sector is a big adopter of open data and semantic web technologies. For example museums, they have a responsibility to not only store the data somewhere, but to also make it accessible to a larger audience.

The data sets drive the collections searches on their own sites. Social media integrations make for fun interactive applications. For example, see Dimensions of art by @jradavenport.

What’s next?

Common thesauri being developed. Hack days to get more people involved within limited budgets. Considering to make open data a requirement for government funding.

Museums typically create guided tours, which are pre-selected and pre-arranged. This was not always the case. In earlier times, the walls were full with a lot of paintings all over the place and you get to . Open data allows to recreate some of that choose-your-own-adventure approach.

Hollie then showed some of her work. A museum project where the whole team worked in an open, glass space at the museum where the audience could see how a web team worked. Even posting the designs up on the pinboards for everybody to look at and give feedback on.

We should be helping people to engage with open data and data a in general as much as possible. Design can help lower the barriers.