Data + Design: A simple introduction to preparing and visualizing information by Trina Chiasson, Dyanna Gregory and others.
From the webpage:
Information design is about understanding data.
Whether you’re writing an article for your newspaper, showing the results of a campaign, introducing your academic research, illustrating your team’s performance metrics, or shedding light on civic issues, you need to know how to present your data so that other people can understand it.
Regardless of what tools you use to collect data and build visualizations, as an author you need to make decisions around your subjects and datasets in order to tell a good story. And for that, you need to understand key topics in collecting, cleaning, and visualizing data.
This free, Creative Commons-licensed e-book explains important data concepts in simple language. Think of it as an in-depth data FAQ for graphic designers, content producers, and less-technical folks who want some extra help knowing where to begin, and what to watch out for when visualizing information.
As of today, the Data + Design is the product of fifty (50) volunteers from fourteen (14) countries. At eighteen (18) chapters and just shy of three-hundred (300) pages, this is a solid introduction to data and its visualization.
The source code is on GitHub, along with information on how you can contribute to this project.
A great starting place but my social science background is responsible for my caution concerning chapters 3 and 4 on survey design and questions.
All of the information and advice in those chapters is good, but it leaves the impression that you (the reader) can design an effective survey instrument. There is a big difference between an “effective” survey instrument and a series of questions pretending to be a survey instrument. Both will measure “something” but the question is whether a survey instrument provides you will actionable intelligence.
For a survey on any remotely mission critical, like user feedback on an interface or service, get as much professional help as you can afford.
When was the last time you heard of a candidate for political office or serious vendor using Survey Monkey? There’s a reason for that lack of reports. Can you guess that reason?
I first saw this in a tweet by Meta Brown.