USER INTERFACES

How trendy charts infantilize business data. Chinese version.

Snakes, seashells, mountains — this is something we, designers, might draw instead of showing data. Just get me right: creative charts are a fair choice when the goal is to entertain, for example, in a fitness app or video game. But if you aim to inform decisions, fanciness is not going to work. We’ll explore seven visual approaches incompatible with business needs and will find robust alternatives.

1. “Snakes”

Have you ever seen a CRM or ERP dashboard design that features juicy 3D tubes as graphs? I call this approach “snakes.”

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Although such visualizations might seem visually appealing, they are helpless against real data and — even more important — are difficult to use. Almost everything is the decoration on the chart above, whereas the real data consists of only 10 data points. …


PHOTO STORY

River ports, factories, and a lab like a spaceship

Vintage industrial facilities always stand out from a modern cityscape: textured brick walls, slim tubes, themed sculptures, coats of arms, arched windows — all these details are magnificent. And definitely, this industrial romantics remains overlooked. During summer, I was exploring non-touristic parts of Berlin in pursuit of industrial beauty.

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1. Westhafen

District: Moabit. Founded in 1914, major expansion by 1927. Stations: U9, S41/42 Westhafen. Info: Google Maps, Wikipedia (in German).

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Westhafen, the tower building at the end of the port basin #2

Westhafen, the biggest river port in the city, has been attracting my attention since the first visits to Berlin. …


PHOTO STORY

How I was collecting old towers around the city, including a cemetery, prison, and gas plants

Elevated tanks had served as water storages since ancient times, but spread worldwide only in the 19th century when pipe technology became more robust. The beauty of a tower is that it supplies water when you cannot rely on pumps, for example, during an electricity outage. Thank god for the gravity! Many old towers are protected historic sites and even repurposed as libraries, apartments, or offices.

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1. Wasserturm Gaswerk Mariendorf

District: Mariendorf. Height: 45 m. Built in 1900. Info: Google Maps, Wikipedia (in German).

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Not only is this tower carefully restored but also beautifully illuminated by orange projectors at night. I think it’s because of the tower’s neighbor — craft brewery and party space “Brewdog” that occupied one of the facilities of the former gas plant Mariendorf. …

About

Slava Shestopalov

Design Manager at Eleks Berlin eleks.com, public speaker, author of the 5 a.m. Magazine medium.com/5-a-m 🇺🇦🇩🇪

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