Reading #8

Interactivity is dead / long live interactivity

Dueling blog posts from Dominikus Baur & Gregor Aisch

The Death of Interactive Infographics?

If you’re doing interaction well, it can turn your visualization from a well-made newspaper that gives you the bullet points into a conversation almost. As if you were having a tête-à-tête with an expert on the data, patient enough to explain you everything.

That’s the ideal, at least.

Read Dominikus’s post on Medium

In Defense of Interactive Graphics

Knowing that the majority of readers doesn’t click buttons does not mean you shouldn’t use any buttons. Knowing that many many people will ignore your tooltips doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use any tooltips.

All it means is that you should not hide important content behind interactions.

Read Gregor’s rebuttal at

Reading Response #8

For interactive graphics, why was it assumed people wanted to or would interact with them in the first place?

If information is hidden within interactive graphics, why was it assumed people would find the important bits? If people can’t view all of the essential information at once, how are they able to figure out the main point?

Is it not an equally grave mistake to assume people will interact with interactive installations as it is to assume they will interact with interactive graphics? If interactivity, even when well designed, continues to fail to engage viewers/users, why is it that interactive installations are more capable of that engagement?

Questions on, The death of interactive infographics

By Jonathan W. Melendez Davidson 05.01.2017

  1. At first, the post assumes that al data visualization is graphic and in a 2D format, yet it ignores data visualizations which occur through the creation of experiences and installations which are bound to go beyond the point and click interfaces. Of course, the act of making them physical makes them less ‘viral’ and accessible to large audiences but might leave a larger impact on those who do interact with it.

  2. The authors brings up a good point which we briefly discussed in class and that is that while designing visualizations of data we rarely ever think about the audience. Who is the target we are seeking to deliver this information too and what is the best way to deliver it to them. This lack of specificity raises the problem of lack of interaction.

  3. Onboarding seems to be the trickiest part when making data visualizations how to get the user or intended audience to care/understand the work at hand. But beyond that I think data visualizations tend to believe themselves as an end goals without taking responsibility of the actions which occur after information transmission. I wonder if designers should go beyond the transmission of data to create that care and transform that care into a specific action.

Reading Response Week 8

  1. I think there is merit to the idea of static interactivity and the use of a high resolution poster, but I wonder if that would work on a computer screen. Is there a way to grab people's attention by having them do a similar zoom in that draws them in to dig through the data?

  2. Is the intrinsic condition of narcissism a valid opportunity to exploit or should we be combatting that by making the data self-reflective about our narcissistic tendencies?

  3. How does interactivity affect how much information you take away from the visualization? In my personal experience it is similar to writing flash cards to study for a text, by engaging with the information with muscle memory it creates a memorable experience that may make the user more easily able to recall the data.


Print verses Screen experiences with data is interesting to consider.. I rarely now see printed data vis outside of mapping. Is it true that print is clearer? or perhaps it is more personal (and present)?

are people today interested in quicker information? Perhaps the screen should not be considered a reliable reading format by the designer.

Perhaps the action of scrolling and association with fast information prevents the user from wanting to truly anywise, observe and carefully read a carried visual data design?

  1. Is letting the viewer curate their own data visualization somehow better than presenting something static and purposefully crafted? Perhaps interactivity is more democratic or unbiased, but isn’t discerning the pertinent/important information a large part of visualizing data?

  2. Not really a question, but I would agree with Dominkus Bauer on the 15% engagement issue. It seems as though a vast majority of people on the NYT website don’t really have the time to dig through an interactive visualization– as he says, they probably arrived there from a link on twitter and just want to spend a few seconds glossing over the article. Even with Gregor Aisch’s points about interactivity, aren’t they objectively sort of a waste of money and time when they live on fast-news websites?

  3. Bauer purports that installations are a more acceptable context for interactive dataviz than news websites. Is there a way to simulate the installation experience without the physical space? How can you replicate his idea of “time” spent looking at a visualization on the internet? Is the internet too fast-paced to properly house interactive visualizations?