Gabi Ferrara and Jon Foust are back today and joined by fellow Googler Manuel Lima. In this episode, Manuel tells us all about data visualization, what it means, why it’s important, and the best ways to do it effectively.
For Google and its mission, data visualization is especially necessary in facilitating the accessibility of information. It “makes the invisible visible” because of the way it can decode meaningful data patterns. Working across multiple GCP products, Manuel and his team build advanced visualization models that go beyond graphs and bar charts to things like sophisticated time lines that aid in the progression from data to usable knowledge. They have also created guidelines for things like what kind of graphical language to use, what type of charts users might need, and more. These guidelines, originally used only internally, have now been adjusted and released for use by developers outside Google with the help of the Material.io team.
The guidelines are based around the six data visualization principles that help users get started. They can be employed to plan and inspire an entire project or to evaluate a specific data visualization chart. Some of the most important principles are to be honest and to lend a helping hand. You can read more in their Medium article, Six Principles for Designing Any Chart.