Provide Insight, Not Numbers: Three Dangerous Data Visualization Trends and User Research Techniques to Avoid Them

Vashon 1 and 2

The healthcare industry has made a tremendous amount of data available to users with the advent of electronic health records, personal activity trackers, and patient portals. Apps, websites, and software tools present complex data visualizations to help doctors and patients understand health information. However, many data visualizations fail to account for users who are less analytically savvy, resulting in significant barriers to adoption. In this talk we present two case studies and review several proven user research techniques that can guide the design of successful data visualizations that appeal to a broad range of users. We also discuss the importance of utilizing exploratory user research activities to test users’ comprehension of the data visualizations.

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