Archives For Charts and Graphs

When I started as an independent consultant in 2005, I had 2 clients. Seven years later I have a successful design group built entirely on referrals. My first 2 clients, both start-ups, referred me to other start-ups who in turn referred me to more companies, eventually allowing me to build a portfolio that includes Adobe, eBay, Fidelity, Salesforce and many others.

Unfortunately we can’t help every start-up that contacts us now, but we do accept 3-4 each year. Our Sponsored Start-Up plan is geared to help start-ups launch with a great user experience. We work closely with the team on their UX strategy, from contextual research through development and launch, at a reduced rate and generous payment terms.

Obaid Khawaja, a Carnegie Melon graduate and former program manager at Microsoft, presented his plan to us in early 2011. He had the magic formula to help eBay sellers increase sales, but the existing interface wasn’t intuitive. We created a simple UX that focused on showing sellers which listing had problems, and offered tips for improvement.

The Boost BI beta was well received and brought in a number of clients including BMW and Littlewoods. And just as importantly for a start-up, it generated valuable feedback.

It turns out customers were thrilled to get insights for improving their listings. But they wanted Boost BI to go one step further and allow them to take action within the application. In V1 (under development) we’ve taken the UX to the next level. V1 makes it easy for sellers to address their most critical (revenue and volume wise) listings problems, to significantly increase their impressions and conversions.

We wish Obaid and his team at Boost BI the best, and can’t wait to see what happens next!

Mobile Chart Options

April 15, 2010 — 1 Comment

Check out this promising beta by ZingChart, HTML5 Canvas.


This advanced Zoom, Scroll, Preview is very well designed and implemented.

They also have sparklines, which are microcharts used to convey the “shape” of data, not necessarily all the details a full size chart would include.

ZingChart also offers a Speed Test example, which I think is pretty cool for helping non-super-techie people like myself understand which factors can influence chart loading times.

Other HTML5 Canvas Chart options

RGraph
jQuery Visualize Plugin
PlotKit

Mobile charting libraries

01. KeepEdge
02. CorePlot

03. s7graphview

04.Google Chart Tools

Android specific

01. aiCharts v1.5
02. Java [TM] Charts for Android

iPhone/iPad specific

01. Mobile Charts- a GUI for the Google Charts API

02. Drawing and Graphics with UIKit and Quartz (instructions) (Quartz demo) (Quartz2D programming guide)

03. SM2DGraphView (Cocoa)

Symbian specific

01. PySChart v0.3

Windows Mobile specific

01. TMS Advanced Mobile Chart Warning- this may be the ugliest chart library I have ever seen; hopefully it can be styled
02. ComponentOne offers 2D charts for apps in their Mobile Studio

For Mobile devices that allow Flash, I would suggest browsing through these lists:
28 Rich Data Visualization Tools
List of Data Visualization Tools
75+ Tools for Visualizing your Data, CSS, Flash, jQuery, PHP

Please comment if you have found other charting options that work well for mobile sites and apps.

Here’s my talk from Dec 11 at the Adobe Austin Users Group. This is a beginners introduction to designing for Flex, although there are some goodies for experienced designers too.

If you are looking to stock your library, you can’t go wrong with this list of books. These are the books that are literally on my desk, listed in order from top of the stack to the bottom.

The Visual Miscellaneum: A Colorful Guide to the World’s Most Consequential Trivia

By David Mccandless

If you are a fan of Edward Tufte, you need this book. If you don’t know who Tufte is, you need this book, and all of Tufte’s books. It is chock full of ideas for visualizing data in more meaningful ways. This is on the top of the stack because I just got it- it is quite lovely.

Prototyping: A Practitioner’s Guide

By Todd Warfel. Rosenfeld Media, November 2009.

These concepts completely changed the way we do business. Full of real examples of how to use different popular tools for prototyping. this is # 2 in my stack because I had to look up some information about prototyping with Fireworks this morning.

Smashing Book

The book is available exclusively from Smashing Magazine. This book looks at Web design rules of thumb, color theory, usability guidelines, user interface design, best coding and optimization practices, as well as typography, marketing, branding and exclusive insights from top designers across the globe. Oh, and one of my applications, OtherInbox, is in the first chapter!

Designing Web Interfaces: Principles and Patterns for Rich Interactions

By Bill Scott and Theresa Neil. O’Reilly Media, January 2009.

Yeah, I know this is our book, but it really is on my desk. I use it for reference at least once a week. I had to look up ZUIs, zoomable user interfaces, earlier this week for a project.

Designing for the Social Web

By Joshua Porter. New Riders 2008.

Great, great read. Worth every penny because it is full of practical advice. Make sure you also look at Joshua’s talk on SlideShare: Designing for Social Interaction. I don’t necessarily refer to this book every day, but I recommend it to at least five start-ups a week.

Designing Social Interfaces: Principles, Patterns, and Practices for Improving the User Experience

By Christian Crumlish, Erin Malone. O’Reilly Media, September 2009.

“This book is a fairly exhaustive catalog of most UI patterns in place today with sites that integrate social networking. There are some very interesting discussions about each pattern, when to use it and who uses it. ” from an Amazon review. I need to pull this book out of the stack and take it with me on the plane next week.

Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks

By Luke Wroblewski. Rosenfeld Media, May 2008.

Anyone who designs anything for the web needs a copy of this. It makes it so nice to not have to think about designing forms. I can spend my time on more interesting design challenges. This book doesn’t leave my desk.

Defensive Design for the Web: How to improve error messages, help, forms, and other crisis points

by Matthew Linderman and Jason Fried

Let the 37signals team show you the best way to prevent your customers from making mistakes, and help them recover for errors if a mistake does occur. This book doesn’t leave my desk either.

About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design

By Alan Cooper. Wiley 2007.

Learn the rules before you break them. Please. Pretty please with a cherry on top? Get this book and read it if you are responsible for designing anything more than a simple web site. Good for Flex developers and Ajax developers as well. Lots of patterns that can be extrapolated for Rich Internet Applications.

Look for the upcoming post (Thursday, Dec 10) in InsideRIA.com about 28 Rich Data Visualization Tools. I’ve included the first three to whet your appetite.

Ajax.org

Ajax.org Platform is a pure javascript application framework for creating real-time collaborative applications that run in the browser.

AjaxOrg.png

AnyChart

AnyChart is a flexible Flash based solution that allows you to create interactive and great looking flash charts.

Axiis

Axiis is a Data Visualization Framework for Flex. It has been designed to be a concise, expressive, and modular framework that let developers and designers create compelling data visualization solutions.

Also, take a look at the nice window-in-window design on the saturnboy blog.