Information Design Watch

April 26, 2011, 9:23 am

Launch! (Remodeling Dynamic Diagrams)

By Henry Woodbury

Late on Friday afternoon last week we relaunched DynamicDiagrams.com and this blog. The new site is more scalable than the old and incorporates more ways to present our work. Information Design Watch is incorporated into the main navigation of the site though it still resolves to its own dd.DynamicDiagrams.com subdomain. We like the new look too.

The relaunch has given us the opportunity to update our portfolio and present the popular dD Orrery on its own page. For the latter we’ve created free Mac and Windows screensavers you can download.

Let us know what you think.

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Comments (0) | Filed under: Dynamic Diagrams News, Information Architecture, Information Design, User Experience, Visual Explanation, Web Interface Design

April 16, 2011, 4:30 pm

20 Things + 1

By Henry Woodbury

Cloud Computing by Christoph NiemannThe Google Chrome Team and illustrator Christoph Niemann have teamed up on a tour de force of information delivery: 20 Things I Learned About Browsers & the Web.

This online guide starts with “What is the Internet” and quickly jumps to topics near and dear to Google’s heart, like “How Modern Browsers Protect You from Malware and Phishing.” Yes, it’s self-promotional. But it’s also engagingly written, sprightly illustrated, and brilliantly executed.

Check out the interface. It’s not Flash. It’s HTML 5. That’s the plus one.

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Comments (0) | Filed under: Books and Articles, Illustration, Information Design, Web Interface Design

April 13, 2011, 2:51 pm

Arial vs. Helvetica

By Henry Woodbury

I’ll never forget the quiet afternoon in the office when one of our RISD interns, reading a design magazine, suddenly shouted out “I can’t believe it! These people think Arial is a good typeface!”

Can you tell Arial from Helvetica?

Take the quiz.

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Comments (5) | Filed under: Typography

April 9, 2011, 9:56 am

Show Me the Seiverts

By Henry Woodbury

The Fukushima nuclear reactor remains in crisis. One informational challenges for media and scientists in this disaster has been explaining the relative risks of the radiation levels. The Sievert, a unit that attempts to measure the biological effect of an absorbed dose of radiation, is measured in micro-quantities for such things as a dental x-ray which is about one-millionth of a dose that is deadly. While a mathematician may easily compare very small and very large number as powers of 10, this is hardly intuitive to the rest of us.

Randall Munroe, at xkcd, has created one of the more comprehensive attempts to show radiation risk by charting doses in blocks and associating them with specific examples. Depending on color each unit represents one of four values from 0.05 microSeiverts (blue) to 1 Seivert (yellow). A large set of examples in one color becomes a small unit of comparison in the next:

Radiation Dose Chart Sample

The chart reads in a clockwise circle; better would be a horizontal left-to-right for both data and key. Still, it is a grand effort that repays close reading.

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Comments (2) | Filed under: Charts and Graphs, Current Events, Diagrams, Information Design, Visual Explanation