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9–11 September 2015

McGrath Centre, St. Catharine's College, Cambridge

From Aargh to Oh! Making Complex Information Understandable

Graham Odds Scott Logic

Session type: Experience Report
Session duration: 45 minutes

About this Experience Report

All walks of life are being affected by the ever-increasing size and complexity of information (potentially) available to us, but we cannot all be expected to be data scientists. Fortunately, design thinking is beginning to permeate enterprise organisations, resulting in information services,line-of-business and productivity applications finally receiving the design attention their, often extensive, daily use warrants. These projects pose a particular kind of design challenge that requires more conventional UX techniques to be adapted and re-appropriated.

In this session, I will take you through my approach to making complex information understandable and actionable for users. I will explore aspects such as the delicate balance between overview and detail; the suitability of data visualisation versus numbers in different circumstances; and how the information should simultaneously raise and answer questions for the user.

Along the way, you will learn something about the world of energy trading as I draw on a recent project with a Nordic power exchange for illustrative purposes.

About the Speaker

Graham is a designer working on complex systems across desktop, web and mobile. As Head of User Experience Design at Scott Logic, he works primarily with financial services and energy trading institutions, developing their research, trading and analysis tools.

He likes to educate coders about the concept of users, and artists about the realities of technology.


Session Types

Need help planning which sessions to attend? We've provided a breakdown of our various session types below.

Case Study/Experience Report

A presentation and discussion of real-life (not theoretical) experiences of the application (or mis-application) of service design techniques. Case studies and experience reports include some discussion of lessons learned and an indication of how novel the work is.


Participants learn a new approach, tool or technology through using it to solve one or more practical exercises. Any software/hardware requirements are disclosed in the session description.


A session focused around some specific tool, technique or issue. Primarily led by the speaker, tutorials usually include some elements of interactivity or individual / group exercise.


An in-depth working session on a specific topic. May include paper presentations.