Ageing workshop – lessons learnt

This is a short list of lessons that I learnt in yesterday thanks to the fantastic ageing workshop organized by Young Foundation. You are welcome to correct/modify this list, this will be extremely useful for the rest of the project.

  • Visual difficulties are the first obstacles to engaging with the map. People ignore maps when
    • Font size is too little
    • Too many items are presented at the same time
  • People get frustrated when they don’t understand
    • Exploration should start from simpler maps (it is possible to move to very complex maps but gradually)
    • Examples of how to explore the maps should be provided
  • In order to engage with the map people need and ask for
    • Information on how the map has been designed (where data come from, how they have been treated…)
    • Explanation on why the map was designed (what is the research question)
    • Explanation on why the map is shown to them (some elements of interpretation must be provided)
    • Evidence that the maps is scientifically sound (within limits that have to be defined clearly)
  • People don’t want to look at maps, they want to explore them
    • In order to engage with the maps the people need time (the number of maps should be limited
    • People are willing to interact with the maps (ex. zooming, comparing…)
    • People are willing to correct/contribute to the maps
    • People would like to have more information on specific items of the maps
  • People finds visualizations more interesting when they map a territory that they already know
    • Local maps are more interesting than global maps
    • People with different expertise should be drawn to different maps
  • The most salient visual variables are (in the order)
    • Size (a lot)
    • Position (somewhat)
    • Color (not so much)
  • The map are appealing objects that capture the attention of the people
    • Beauty risks to distract from usefulness
    • Titles, captions and legends are generally ignored, attention has to be drawn on them

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