About 2 years ago I’ve become very much interested in UX and everything about UX. This interest has eventually evolved into strong awareness of presenting information, visually in particular. One just can’t help thinking in terms of visualization when reading Tufte, Cleveland and Berten. Ideas come pouring in all the time: how to make things more visual, easier to grasp, more clear (in our product, in particular).
I will try to share this feeling and tell more about the principles of information visualization based on some very impressive stories. I beg your pardon for a couple or two boring definitions. There’re no jokes in this article, intentionally. It’s a deadly serious business, so scrape up all your patience and read on.
Disclaimer: the article is quite lengthy. Even so, it’s my sincere hope that you will get over it in no time, as I can’t stress enough how engaging and fascinating the subject is.
2 weeks ago we made a large roadmap poster out of four A2 sheets of paper and put it up on the wall in a highly popular place, that is kitchen. The poster shows 2 years in a row:
You can see initiatives (or epics) rows. Red line is for an epic start date, green line marks release date. Yellow lines show previous and future expectations about releases, but since we are not estimating stories, these are just expectations. Blue line indicates beta-release. Stories and features are represented by yellow sticky notes inside each initiative. The current day is marked by a thread with a marker attached (yes, we utilize gravity force). Future initiatives are marked with large orange sticky notes.
Here is a quick overview of 2010. We completed only 2 major epics and started 3 more that are still in progress.
Currently we are working on Plugins (this epic has been in production for almost 9 months already) and new Views (the current “in progress” time is 6 months). As you see, we expected to release new Views in April initially, but full JS architecture redesign changed the plans. Quick Add UX activities will be started soon.
Finally, an overview photo: