This is a really useful exercise when you’ve been interviewing users about a potential subject/project or carrying out research on a particular subject Usually you have gathered lots of data (intelligence) but get a little lost as to how to analyse it.
It’s really useful for students who can sometimes get bogged down in all the information they have gathered and can’t see the wood for the trees..
This video comes from a series created by Stanford University on its Design Thinking Programme. I have used it a lot and it always seems to de-mystify how to group different things together into ‘buckets’ to gather insights or trends.
“The purpose of visualization is insight, not pictures.”
— Ben Shneiderman, distinguished university professor in computer science, Maryland.
This holds true whether you’re using the research at the start of a design process (getting to know what to design), or using it in the final stages (understanding how well a design is meeting its targets).
It also depends on the people you’re communicating with (such as your design team, your professor, or a client) and the type of understanding you need them to have (in other words, a deep empathy for the user or a global feeling for the context in which a product will be used), you need to determine what type of visualization suits your results best.