Two Data Viz Tips to Engage Your Audience

data viz tip Sep 20, 2022
The text Data Viz Tips from a visit to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science on a banner with two images of a woman with short hair interacting with museum exhibits.

In early September, I had a super fun time at a Meetup at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science! I was reminded of two data viz tips for engagement at the museum.

First, interaction and exploration are great ways to engage your audience.

The museum has a very interactive series of exhibits about space.

There’s one where you can spin and tilt a disk to explore satellite maps of the world. And another where you can change the moving images on a giant floating globe - to view shifts in ozone over time around the world or see images of the sun from all angles.

Allowing your audience to explore and interact with the data to find their own conclusions makes your data viz super engaging.

Second, personalize the data to connect with your audience.

Another exhibit at the museum is all about health and the human body.

At the start of the exhibit, you pick up and add your information to a plastic card. At stations in the exhibit, you slide in the card and interact with the station.

One station takes your heart rate, one measures your height and wingspan, another is a game to explore how well you interact with mirrored images. At the end of the exhibit, you slide your card again and get a printout with your personal data.

When data is personalized, your audience is more likely to engage with it.

Think about how you can highlight the metric or category that is most relevant to your audience in your visualizations. For example, if you're presenting information about outcomes for different age groups, highlight the age group of your audience or the age group that they work with.

Make the data that's personal and relevant to your audience stand out so they don't have to search around for it, and they will connect better with your data viz.

If you're looking for ways to highlight key information - I have an online course called Data Viz Design Essentials that will teach you to do just that.

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