Yesterday we had a wonderful workshop by Karin von Ompteda. She was a Biologist and turned to Graphic Design. Currently she is a doctoral researcher at Royal College of Arts in London. Its interesting where she comes from. She used her knowledge of biology and the study of organisms and used that method for a comprehensive study on most popular typefaces (both serif and sans-serifs). Her website is KarinVonOmpteda.com

Karin has been doing Data Visualisation workshops well and long enough. She gave us a piece of paper which had some data from World Data Bank. We were asked to work in groups of four and find a choose a row of data from the data sheet. The brief asked us to negotiate with each other to find an interesting way to represent the data which evokes a positive dialogue, and creates interest. Its like a light version of gamification of service, where our data is the service and the way we represent it is the game.

Data Visualisation - Data Sheet

Data Sheet (Source: World Development Indicators database, World Bank)

We chose to represent the percentage of people in each country who have access to Internet. This data set seemed very interesting as a small country like Netherlands has the highest percentage, more than even United States which lags behind so many countries like UK and Canada. US created Internet and still has less percentage of users than many other countries. It smashes so many of our presumptions. India which seems to be powering the Internet organisations with providing rich talent in terms of Web developers and engineers, stands lowest in this list.

The way we answered the brief was by making a spider’s web with different coloured string (thanks to Karin for bringing all the materials). We decided to choose two highest countries and two on the lowest side and one exactly in the middle. This gave us six countries as UK and Canada has the same percentage. Each country would be represented in a different coloured string, preferably by one of the colour in that country’s flag. We decided to divide the length of the string with the percentage so the more usage of internet in a country, more the string will be in the web representing that country. Less the access to internet, less the colour of that country. So, it was all a play of colours.

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