Here is a video of David McCandless from the TED Global conference, in which he explains the methodology behind his designs. And these designs are not your traditional works of art. Instead, they are visual descriptions of very creatively defined data sets. As he explains, the size and relativity of issues is quite tough to digest when shown in numbers and words, but compress those insights into a simple design, and you’ll be able to explain a world of information very quickly. He also explains how real-time and interactive the data can be.
As design continues to dominate our ADD culture, design thinking will evolve as a dominant influence during all types of processes. As we become more and more efficient, we’ll be expected to do more and more in less and less time, and David McCandless’s way of design thinking will be the only way to maintain this new era of production. And that’s not a bad thing because these charts, and the data they describe, are a hell of a lot more interesting to observe than the spreadsheets living behind them. And I have to say, his British accent also makes sitting through a conference much easier as well.