Datum Ipsum: Designing real-time visualizations with realistic placeholder data
Real data is hard to understand
This fact has a lot to do with the lack of overlap between design and statistics — designers are often the ones who avoided taking statistics class and opted instead to spend their time in studios and darkrooms. But even a background in statistics can’t change the reality that humans simply struggle with data. A few reasons for this:
Real data isn’t intuitive
Our brains are really good at finding patterns. It’s one of the things that makes design so rewarding — looking at orderly shapes and patterns feels good. So when we look at data, we look for and often find patterns, even if those patterns are misleading or downright wrong.