In order to design an appropriate data presentation, you need a “toolbelt” of presentation techniques to pull from. This activity introduces, and lets participants practice with, a set of creative techniques for presenting data. It helps participants build confidence in their ability to present data appropriately. It also practicing expressing a message with different techniques.
What you need:
- an example visualization for remixing
- large paper and markers
How you do it:
Introduce the existing visualization and discuss its audience, goals, and content.
Break the participants into groups of 3 or 4 people each. Assign each group a specific technique (personal story, data sculpture, map or creative map, chart or creative chart, data game). Often we don’t assign all the techniques. Give each group a copy of the visualization you introduced. Point groups to paper and markers, but don’t give them to every group (otherwise everyone makes their idea a visualization and ignores their technique).
Let the groups work for 10 minutes to brainstorm and sketch one example that uses the same data in the visualization, but presents it using the technique you assigned to them.
Bring everyone back together and go around the room letting each group share their favorite idea.
We piloted this technique with Stephanie Hankey at the 2013 Tactical Technology Collective Info-Activism Camp.