Brendan Dawes

Analogue + Digital


The best data visualisation I've ever seen

The best data visualisation I've ever seen wasn't on the web. Wasn't a
limited edition A2 poster. Wasn't featured on any blog or twitter
feed.  Nor was it created by an artist or an information design guru.

It was created by a man on the street, as just something he did
everyday. Yet it was brilliant.

Standing on the pavement, his job was to help the driver of the truck
reverse into the loading bay of the supermarket. Rather than make
beckoning hand gestures like most of us do, he had a better, simpler
more effective system.

He put his hands straight into the air about shoulder length apart so
the driver of the truck could clearly see him in his mirror. As the
truck slowly reversed, he gradually brought his hands together to
visibly show the distance between the truck and the wall of the
loading bay. It blew me away.

The constantly changing data was being visualised so beautifully and
simply without room for ambiguity, especially important in such a
mission critical situation.

Passers by had no idea that a few feet away a wonderful piece of
design thinking was on display. Not to mention the best data
visualisation I've ever seen.