Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve visited many enterprise customers to spread the exciting news and discuss their mobile strategy. I found it interesting that most of them were focusing primarily on tablets (instead of phones), and that the application they were focusing on was almost always a dashboard or at least involved a lot of charting components. It is true that tablets such as the iPad, the Xoom, and the BlackBerry PlayBook are amazing devices for data visualization.
Multi-touch is revolutionizing the way we interact with applications. The idea of user interfaces behaving like real life objects has been kicked around for a long time, and touch screens remove an important barrier. In the area of data visualization, multi-touch can have a particularly transformative effect: there are definitely a lot of opportunities for more “natural” data manipulation and exploration.
So, as an exercise, I built an interactive sales dashboard using Flex to explore the possibilities.
Check out the video (running on an iPad). Of course, the same application can run on Android, on the BlackBerry PlayBook, and in the browser or as a desktop application on traditional computers.
This is just a small example of thinking about data visualization differently. Charts don’t have to be read-only: If the data isn’t right, change it right there (“in place editing”).
I’m looking forward to seeing what people will come up with in this exciting field.
Disclaimer: I’m not a designer. This is still mostly developer artwork. The goal of this demo is to experiment with new ways to visualize and modify data, and not to recommend this specific implementation.