How to Create a Design System for Successful Information Visualization


Nikki Arnell
Associate Professor, Graphic Design; Arkansas State University


October 23, 2024 - 2:00 PM


October 23, 2024 - 3:00 PM

How to Create a Design System for Successful Information Visualization

Wednesday, 23 October 2024; 2:00 to 3:00 PM Eastern time

Before diving into any information design, it's crucial to establish a design system. This visual system includes choosing a limited number of fonts and a finite color palette but also lays the groundwork for consistent layout principles like adhering to an invisible grid and consistent spacing in and around elements. By first settling on a system, the uniformity created allows increased readability and retention of the message(s).  

Information Visualization, like any visual communication, should follow a system to aid message delivery and retention. For example, a design system is at the core of a UI/UX “Design Kit” created for optimal user experience before a developer codes the site or app. A visual system sets up a consistent and clear visual hierarchy that quickly prioritizes dense information with concise efficiency.

One key reason for creating and following a design system is to avoid reinventing the wheel with every new element. But its importance goes beyond that. Even in a single Information Visualization, a design system can manage the complexity of multiple details and effectively guide the viewer's attention. It should be ‘quiet' in that it should immediately convey what's important and not, enabling the viewer to prioritize information. 

What might appear at first to be a massive task unimportant in relation to the data set gathered can be easily handled with the information provided in this talk. The few easy-to-follow rules are worth the time to ensure successful message delivery


This talk will cover the following in brief verbal and visual explanations: know your user, typography as shape, typography as space, and color.

Attendee Takeaways:

Attendees will understand how small details make a huge difference to visually communicate information correctly. The few easy rules to follow are further explained with visual examples to ensure attendees gain increased awareness of crucial details. Before long, translating dense data sets into clear information visualizations will become routine.


For current CPTC certificants: This webinar provides 2 CEUs for recertification, in the Project Planning core competency area.

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