DataInterfaces is a research laboratory that merges the competences of communication design, complex systems science, and computer science in the creation of interfaces between data and people.
The diffusion of online services, sensors, mobile devices, user-generated contents and opendata initiatives is giving access to a never-seen-before amount of data. Data shared by online services, social networks, news sources, archives, scientific research, government institutions, intelligent homes, buildings, industries and cities are available for everyone to download and use.
While a data-rich scenario is quickly emerging, research on tools and methodologies to explore, represent, and communicate such wealth of information is lacking. Devices and representations able to provide an interface between data and people are needed in order to transform the raw numbers into useful knowledge and insight. This is needed in different contexts:
IN RESEARCH AND ANALYTICAL CONTEXTS the design of data exploration interfaces is needed in order to provide experts and researchers with instruments that allow to see the data in different ways, enabling exploratory overviews of otherwise overly complex datasets. Like microscopes revolutionized many scientific fields in the late 1600 allowing to see the extremely small, the development of data-imaging instruments can prove critical in the development of data-rich disciplines by allowing to interactively reduce complexity and help in the detection of meaningful patterns.
IN COMMUNICATION CONTEXTS the design of tools able to harness the wealth of data in order to provide the final user with usable insight can help in the development of context-aware, personal communication. Such data-driven interfaces are needed to transform the raw data extracted from online and offline services in higher level contents and knowledge. The aim is that of hiding the lower level complexity in order to expose the needed information at the right time.
Mixing the technical skills related to the collection and processing of large quantities of real-time data, the scientific skills necessary for its analysis and elaboration and the design skills necessary for its communication,
DataInterfaces aims to experiment with the development of interfaces and formats for data-rich environments, in order to address the open issues in the design of tools for data exploration and communication.