The Design of Information

Information Design

Posts Tagged ‘palo alto networks’

Bubble Bandwidth

Palo Alto Networks launched the data visualization that we created yesterday with the release of their Application Usage & Threat Report. It’s a depiction of network traffic collected from 3,000+ organizations. The visualization gives you a sense of the applications that eat up the most bandwidth and represent the greatest risk. There are many ways to slice and filter the data, facilitated by the capabilities of the d3.js library. Many thanks to Jérôme Cukier for his coding expertise to bring the concept to life.

Palo Alto Networks data visualization

Palo Alto Networks data visualization categories

Another piece of the project was to create this related infographic.

Palo Alto Networks App and Threat infographic

I very much enjoyed delving into the world of moving spheres. What is it about us that is drawn toward playing with bubbles? Looking forward to more projects like this.

Visualizing Complexity

The work I enjoy most is divided pretty evenly between two things: visualizing complex data and visualizing complex systems. Both are trying to get at truth through some degree of abstraction.

Choosing the right type of chart for your data should be a thoughtful process and may, at times, requires some creative thinking, but choosing the right format for showing a system can be a lot less straightforward. There is seldom just one right way to depict a system. I find myself grappling with how position, shape, size and color might give meaning to different viewers in different contexts – not to mention line weight, arrow style, iconography, etc. Developing a consistent visual language can be a challenge, but it pays dividends, especially in a series of related diagrams.

Despite the complexity, or maybe because of it, I find great satisfaction in discovering simple solutions that are true and understandable. The best diagrams often feel simple and obvious when they are done. Which means that people who weren’t part of the process don’t look at the result and say “Wow, that’s amazing! How did you do that!”

Which makes it a little harder to show examples and have people appreciate what went into the image they are seeing, but I’ll show a few anyway. Here are some examples from work done for Palo Alto Networks.

Their large scale VPN technology:
Palo Alto Networks VPN

And their Panorama technology:

Palo Alto Networks Panorama

This blog is focused on information design, the creation of infographics for visual understanding of complex processes, data and ideas.