Sunday, October 16, 2005

Data Visualization: Best in Show

DMReview had a contest for best infovis application, and Jock Mackinlay's submission won. The scenario and data were not prescribed. The winning solution was a display of video game advertising strategies.

Jock is an alumnus of Xerox PARC, along with many of the world's best infovis HCI folks. He's now the UI Director at Tableau Software, a company I keep coming across. Jeff Heer, also formerly at PARC and main author of prefuse (which I've played with for network diagrams), was also at Tableau for a while. But I hit Tableau on the web-- knowing nothing of their distinguished staff-- when I was looking 6 months ago for companies doing interesting infovis and data mining applications. I thought their UI and featureset looked very nice.

Too bad they aren't posting more jobs for UI designers! (Although, they are located right down the road from my old Adobe digs in Seattle, and I know I can't take that climate.)

The DMreview article is especially good because it also shows some losers and why they lost, despite their slick design (like, immersive 3d virtual worlds for 2d graphics). I just wish it were longer.

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