A chart or graph can be said to perform its function if it accurately represents the data that fuels it. A roof performs its function if it protects whatever is underneath from the elements. A mug performs its function if it holds hot liquids. But the fact of the matter is that there are better mugs, better roofs, and better charts.
I’m not sure where you can go to see better roofs and mugs but the better charts can be seen at newly founded website Dadaviz. In its current incarnation, Dadaviz is a closely curated collection of excellent examples of the power of data visualization. However, for creator Jishai Zevers or his co-founder Leon Markovitz, this isn’t enough. In time, Markovitz would like Dadaviz to become the “YouTube of data visualization”: a place synonymous with hosting visual information.
Browsing Dadaviz, a sense of house style becomes apparent. The charts are clean and crisp; the colors and lines all help inform viewers and draw in their eyes, allowing them to digest and analyze the data. There is no chaff, no smoke and mirrors.
A comparison could be drawn to Ubisoft, who have also been working towards clean data as well. The profiling in Watch Dogs works almost entirely on clean lines that gather around their target. Though ostensibly “lines” themselves cannot profile anyone, they represent a confluence of data, one that is finally represented by simple contrasting colors and letters which are easy to read and understand. When warping across the city the entire game is transposed into this data visualization; Chicago ceases to become a living city and is momentarily transformed into a living chart.
Anyone who has crawled through a dungeon in Diablo or Dark Souls knows that games have much to learn from websites like Dadaviz. Being able to identify the best weapons or armor is essential to survival but sometimes difficult. Even Bungie’s recently released infographic covering the recent Destiny Beta can be boiled down to “numbers on top of images”. If done properly, infographics cease to be about “reading” and start to be about communication. They can communicate scale, change, distance, or even nuance.
So while it may not be in anyone’s best interest to see a generation of videogames that are Metricovanias, it is certainly in our interests to find new ways to communicate information in ways that are not just aesthetically pleasing but actually useful, as well. In the meantime, if you’d like to sate your elegant design palate, head on over to Dadaviz and prepare thyself to get informed.