Visualization to humans with lesser attention span than goldfish?
It is told that today the attention span of human is dwindling so bad that its even lesser than a gold fish. In numbers, gold fish attention span is 9 seconds while we humans end up around 8 seconds. I understand and can relate to this where we constantly interrupted by volumes of data coming from different devices and media. This means that to connect with another human and make meaningful conversation or impact, we got only 8 seconds or so. This is very critical in a business world where we are constantly trying to make our messages heard to our leaders irrespective of the what size or type the organization is. Given the amount of data increase, the variety of data involved along with velocity, the role of visualization becomes more and more critical than ever before. In a dumbed-down, device dependent herd-like society, we don’t want to end up with holding huge volumes of data at fingertips, but still unable to process and extract any meaningful information. Visualization is not about fancy charts and colors but its the art of enabling an easier interaction with and understanding of data. It enables us to tell the story of what happened and more importantly, what could we do going forward and share it with others. This involves – storytelling, interactivity, share-ability all to be done in less than 8 seconds before our attention evaporates. So, keep the time sensitivity in mind while portraying any kind of visualization to balance the information conveyed along with simplicity of design.
Who knew that we would be creating visualizations for folks with lower attention than gold fish? Fun, right?