WebVisions: Overcoming Chaos – Designing the Future Web

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Jeffery Veen

Second (and final keynote)

…but first some props to the board

The Past

First spoke at WebVisions 5 years ago in 2003.

Worked at HotWIre 16 years ago. Then onto adaptive path for measure map. Bought by google where he worked on the great analytics.

3 weeks ago he split from Google….

Now back to 1974

(before I was born)

  • OPAC crisis where gas spiked to 81cents
  • Nixon left office
  • You could see Elvis OR kiss
  • Ma bell split (almost all back together)
  • First published reference to Internet (packet switch)

He was first introduced to Pong. Had the revelation that you could interact with the TV instead of just consume. Never looked back.

Historical background of data visualization

From 1851 cholera outbreak, to Neapolitans march, to challenger shuttle data.

Need to make stories as clear as possible.


  • Simplicity of data on google analytics – from that scene in Indiana Jones where the plane flies over the ocean, leaving a single red line.
  • Statistics can feel abstract – chrisjordan.com


  • Apply tools so that users can draw their own conclusions.
  • Stamen Design is a good example of interactive data visualization.
  • Allow people to follow their own trails.


  • Need to know your audience. Can be scary.
  • Variety of needs,
  • Of scale,
  • Of locations.
  • Identify needs – then design a product to solve problem.
  • A lot of time talking to a lot of people. (then pull out themes)
  • Stack themes on features. Are the needs met? Gaps? Too much?

Nice Typography:


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