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December 5-6, 2016: Training
December 6–8, 2016: Tutorials & Conference

The feels: How to design data visualizations that evoke an emotion from your users

Vivian Peng (Doctors Without Borders)
12:05pm–12:45pm Thursday, December 8, 2016
Design, visualization, and VR
Location: 310/311 Level: Non-technical
Average rating: ****.
(4.25, 4 ratings)

What you'll learn

  • Understand the impact that emotions have on your audience and design them into the visualization experience by putting the user first


What do emotions have to do with data? While data is objective, the impact of our insights is not. At the end of the day, our insights drive people to take action, whether it’s motivating people to buy a product, sign a petition, or make an organizational decision.

From her experience working at Doctors Without Borders, Vivian Peng knows that emotions can be a powerful tool to inspire action from our users. Photos and videos are great mediums to evoke emotions, but that’s not always the case with data visualizations.

Vivian explores how to evoke emotions by mapping data to your senses. We naturally rely on sight, smell, touch, vision, and taste to absorb information, so it’s a natural progression to imagine making content that is readily received by our five senses. By doing so, we learn to put our users first when creating visualizations.

Photo of Vivian Peng

Vivian Peng

Doctors Without Borders

Vivian Peng is a visual artist using design, animations, and data for storytelling. Vivian is currently a communications officer at Doctors Without Borders, using design to raise awareness on public health issues. She holds a master’s degree in public health informatics from Columbia University.