Tuesday, February 24, 2009

VizThink 09 Day 1 Quick Summary

Starting out on day 2 here in San Jose. Day one was a whirlwind of networking and sessions. Started out in the morning general session with Tom's Table Scramble, chaos and commotion in the main conference room as Tom created networking opportunities for people along with a real-time live data visualization using the attendees ourselves to represent Mac users vs PC users, distance in miles flown etc.

Interesting opening discussion by Colin Ware about visual thinking - my main take away from that being, communication is best if we use the appropriate medium.

Breakout session 1 - Karl Gude. Oh my God! That guy has energy! Karl showcased Do's and Don'ts in infographic design. Very entertaining session and a few take-aways. Probably deserves it's own dedicated blog post some time later.

Breakout session 2- Joyce Hostyn. Interesting points on 3 Brain Theory, 6 types of story. She presented the case that facts are meaningless without a contextual story. Having a good story is essential to visuals being able to communicate your intent.

Afternoon general session - the every impressive Tom Wujec - some very cool visuals, how the brain works to process visual information - nice seque into Dan Roam discussing principles from his Back of the Napkin book. I attendeed Dan Roam's session last year and highly recommend it to anyone this year. I'd attend myself, but it's at the same time as Luke W.'s session on visual communication and the web today. Really looking forward to that one. Luke W. has a couple of nice summaries of Tom Wujec's and Dan Roam's general session presentations.

By the end of general session yesterday I was exhausted. Karen and I needed a break from the commotion so we snuck out for a quiet dinner at Original Joe's. Some great Italian with huge portions. After that, the plan was to prep for and attend the scheduled VizCamp at 9pm, but I ended up having to attend to some work issues till about 9:30. After that there was no way I could process anything more.

Time to get ready for Day 2.

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