olihawkins

Information design versus web design

25 May 2015 15:01 GMT

When I first launched this blog I designed it around a single colour theme. Everything was rendered in black and white with a blue accent, which was present in the masthead and the links, and which became the predominant colour in all of the graphics. I now realise what a terrible idea that was for a blog that features data visualisation.

Trying to keep all of the graphics consistent with the colour scheme proved extremely limiting and was starting to make the site feel predictable and dull. More importantly, the choice of colours in a visualisation should be decided by what you are trying to reveal in the data, rather than the context in which the data is presented.

So I have tweaked the design to make the look and feel completely neutral with regard to colour, leaving me free to choose whatever colours I want or need for visualisation purposes. I have also retrospectively changed some of the earlier visualisations to introduce more variety to the visual style and to use more appropriate colours.

Lesson learned: information design should not be artificially constrained by web design.