Ashleigh Axios: Hi, this is Ashleigh Axios of Automattic. I used to see charts and graphs showing the high numbers of black men incarcerated in the US and I would get really embarrassed. I was sure that the data was being read by everyone as it was being interpreted by me- connecting black men to crime in the US at a higher rate. Of course the data didn’t actually say that black men are more prone to criminal activity than any other group but the framing of the information left it very open to interpretation which can be influenced our biases as a society. I felt that deeply at the time and have remembered it as a designer. I remember that how we frame information is very important. When I design with data now I think about the negative stereotypes that could creep into or enforce the information by accident and I very carefully frame the content to avoid reinforcing that.
Tad Toulis: Hey I’m Tad Toulis, Vice President of Design at Sonos. I don’t know if this is technically a fringe case but I have been mystified repeatedly by how often the fundamentals of technology are lost on users. Case in point – how broadly wireless is misunderstood. Tech has competed on making things easier and more pervasive. But clearly we have chosen not to educate. That makes me wonder where the road ends.
Amy Choi: Okay. So how does data influence your design work?
Gus Granger: Hi this is Gus Granger and data has influenced our approach to design by giving us new ways to measure the effectiveness of the work that we create for our clients so that we can make sure that we’re providing them strong investments for their businesses and not just a beautiful expenses. And that has made us a healthier business and you know provided more effective work for our clients.
Hank Richardson: Hi I’m Hank Richardson, the Director of Opportunity and Design Coach at Portfolio Center in Atlanta. Data influences everything and is everywhere. It’s noise. The potholes in the street, the clanking of knives and forks on a plate. Music, nature. The thing about data is, it’s not automatically information. Data is facts and information is the meaning that we designers give to those facts. Data all by itself has little meaning. It’s only when we take the facts and put them together in some way that the meaning becomes clear. Information then leads to understanding.
Lawrence Azerrad: Hey this is Lawrence from LADdesign. How does data influence my design? Well when I’m designing an album cover, looking at the band’s community online really helps me understand who I’m speaking to visually.
Maurice Cherry: Hi this is Maurice. Data has influenced by designs because it allows me to make sure that the design choices that I’m making are actually rooted in some type of logic. Usually when I do surveys or do user testing or things like that, I do those because I wanna gain information that I can use to make informed design decisions. And that’s not necessarily for me but it’s also for my clients as well. Often times depending on how close we are to our project, we can only see it in one certain way. But once we get data either from customers or from external users, it’s then we can really sort of paint the full picture about what the product should be. And that is what helps inform and influence design.