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The Truthful Art - Ch3 & Ch4: Design is a circle

Updated: Feb 6, 2019

There is an instinct lying deep down in, I wouldn't say everyone, but most people's heart, that we tend to form a "insight" quickly to get ourselves away from the sense of loss when exposed to things that we are unable to decipher. With that 'insight' in mind, we may find ourselves trying to find evidence to support it - actually, to support ourselves. "It makes sense to me." Words like this can easily calm us down when we are accidentally pulled out of our comfort zone. As an individual, this would blind ourself. As a data visualization designer, this would blind every single readers of ours. Everytime when we make a hypothesis based on what we have seen, before jumping to the conclusion, first, let's go back to where it originally comes from. So what is happening there? What else is happening there? Is there any relationship amont them? Can we find any evidence to prove that? Which of those relationships matter? Can we find any evidence to prove that? How do you prove that the rest of them are not relevant? Getting broader is to help us find the proper point - I wouldn't say the best since there isn't always a right answer for each quesetion, but there is always right answers for worthless points - to dive in. The use of scientifcal tools helps us to verify our assumption. In the end, adding uncertainty to our finding helps it hold up.


This process is very much like a UX design process. A designer may never start with "I want to design a bracelet for my grandpa who has an ALzheimer's so that I can know where he is at anytime". A good design always follows this pattern: converge and then diverge, converge and then diverge ... . In research phases, we converge to find as many related information as possible. We compare them, connect them and start to diverge in order to translate what lies behind them. Going forward to evaluation phases, we take a step back to see is everything a supportive, dispensable part of the other. If not, we diverge to see what's wrong back to the research session and fix it. It is within this circle that our finding grows stronger and stronger and gets us closer and closer to the true reality.

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