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Human-Centered Data Design

3iap helps clients research, design, and develop psychologically effective, equitable, and humanistic data visualization.

3iap's approach to data communication is outcome-driven, centered on thoughtful analysis, and deeply rooted in the science of visualization.

Learn about 3iap here, see an overview of 3iap’s services here, or even better, send an email to hi@3iap.com to get in touch.

Research & Writing

The essays below highlight examples of psychologically effective data design. They include empirical findings from our own work and others', each with a different lens on the surprising ways that data can make a difference.

A liberal pup and conservative cat, with a polarized attitude.

Polarizing Political Polls

Our new research shows how opinion polling visualizations can shape public opinion and increase political...

A good boy looking through partisan-tinted sunglasses

Through a Partisan Lens: How Politics Overrides Information.

A political psychology primer for information designers.

An illustration of the ways bar charts can mislead us about social groups.

Unfair Comparisons: How Visualizing Social Inequality Can Make It Worse

Our research shows how popular chart choices can trigger unconscious social biases and reinforce systemic...

Timeline visualizations of 10 3iap client projects. Scroll for details.

Timely Advice: How Long Does Dataviz Take?

Visualizing 3iap timesheets for 10 dataviz client projects. How much time goes into researching, data...

What Can Go Wrong? Deficit Thinking in Dataviz

Exploring racial equity dataviz and deficit thinking, with Pieta Blakely.

Left: Bar chart showing pay disparities between 4 groups of restaurant workers. Right: Jitter plot showing the same data.

“Dispersion & Disparity” Research Project Results

How masking uncertainty encourages stereotyping when visualizing social outcome disparities

Hypothetical sales dashboards comparing different types of feedback. The left speaks to viewers’ commitment. The right highlights the contrast between users’ current and target states.

Dashboard Psychology: Effective Feedback in Data Design

The psychology behind “what you measure you improve”...

Clusters of dots with imaginary annotated beliefs

Radical Dots Simulator: Visualizing Agent Belief Change

Visualizing extreme belief formation, echo chambers, polarization, and attitude latitudes.

Astronauts on the way to mars, looking at a progress bar with 116 days remaining. A trip to Mars means ~260 very boring, anxious days for a few lucky astronauts.

Visualizing Expectations

Understanding the psychology and impact of expectation-setting and information design.

Abstract arrows representing people's alignment in an organization

Good Dashboards Inform. Great Dashboards Align.

Dashboards don't have to be data dumpsters. At their best, great dashboards are a monument to what matters...

A series of illustrated people viewing ambient charts and graphs about themselves

Motivational Data Visualization

Exploring the motivational impacts of 7 user-data visualizations in everyday products and services.

An abstract illustration of a person being goal directed

Goal Setting: “Measurable” shouldn't mean “Miserable”

A quick exercise for defining “measurable” OKRs

A collage of room rater screen grabs

Winning at @ratemyskyperoom

In these uncertain times, the world needs hard-hitting data journalism now more than ever. This is not...

Examples of the chart types studied in this post, presented as candy. The Y-Axis represents silliness and, in the case of the bar chart, each bar’s height represents its own violation of the data-ink-ratio principle.

Settling the Debate: Bars vs Lollipops (vs Dot Plots)

Results of testing Bars, Lollipops and Dot Plots with 150 Mechanical Turkers for accuracy, preference...

A very poorly drawn illustration of young lemonade stand entrepreneurs

Lemonade & Human-Centered KPIs

How to set team KPIs that won't cost your lemonade stand $3B in fines. 5 principles for designing inspiring...

A very confused lumberjack looking at a wooden bar chart

Americans Struggle with Graphs

When communicating data to 'the public,' how simple does it need to be? How much complexity can people...

An illustration of a confusing chart that won't survive user testing

"What is this chart trying to tell you?"

Crucial questions to ask when user testing data visualizations.

Work Samples

These are projects we're proud of, including client work and experimental designs.

photo of the 'inspiring change' article and first visualization

Nightingale Magazine - Absurd Print Editorial Visualizations

Five data visualization designs supporting a printed magazine article.

An elaborate climate change dataviz poster for the World Government Summit

World Government Summit Dataviz: Twenty-Nine Years of Hot Air

An overview of cumulative greenhouse gas emissions. Shortlist finalist for the World Dataviz Prize.

A mockup the geo-explorer choropleth map part of the tool

Ugandan Survey Research Project: Data Exploration Tool Design

Data visualization, information design, and product design for a leading market research firm.

A mockup of the LawAtlas dataset details page, showing a tile map and related controls

Temple University: Public Health Policy Dataset Discovery and Exploration

Data visualization, information design, Open Data discovery and UI/UX for Temple's LawAtlas.

Screenshot of efficicacy trial data explorer tool

Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials Data Visualization

Data Visualization Design and Exploration Tool Development for a Fortune 500 Pharmaceutical Firm

A slide from Client's updated Remote Analysis report, using email volume as a proxy for workday span

Designing Approachable, Self-Serve People Analytics

Data Visualization, Presentation and Dashboard Design

A timeseries chart of a fake polling question

Graphicacy: Polling Data Timeseries Dataviz Development

Survey Data Visualization Development with Graphicacy

Screenshot from Doom Haikus data exploration app

Doom Haikus: Machine Learning, Poetry and Despair

Developing a dataset and data explorer for machine summarization and haiku language models

Redacted design for StreetLinx's firm directory, the main view in the product

StreetLinx: Organizational X-Ray Vision for Securities Counterparties

Data Product Design and Development for StreetLinx

Several examples of rendered pants

3d Clothing Rendering Pipeline

Developing a pattern-to-pants graphics pipeline

Mockup of the PerformPlus information centre

PwC: Productizing a Workforce Performance Analytics Service

Motivational Analytics Consulting, Data Product Design and MVP Development for Pw

Screenshot of 'One Small Step' dataviz

Personalized Fitness Dataviz for Consumer Health-Tracking

Data Visualization, Product Design and MVP Development for notch.me

a curious guinea pig

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No guinea pigs (or humans) have been harmed in the course of 3iap’s research, writing, or experiments.