Data Visualization, Infographics & UI Design | DC MD VA

Data Visualization & Infographics

Visual Intelligence

Our infographics and data visualization team consists of designers, business analysts, data analysts, and marketers. With this combination, we have been effective in helping our clients analyze their data, develop the visual story, design the visualization, and bring it to production.

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User Interaction Design

UI/UX Design

Times have changed. User Interface Design and User Experience Design (UI/UX) have revolutionized the application world, bridging business processes with intuitive design to help customers gain more value out of their applications.

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Information/Data Architecture

Data Structure

Our specialized Information/Data Architecture skill set allows us to work with clients that have large data sets who are looking to organize their data into a structure that can be used in many different applications.

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Application Development

Users Come First

Boost Labs designs and builds intuitive web, mobile, and desktop applications. Our diverse experience with app development spans government, financial, entertainment, marketing, and productivity needs.

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Motion Graphics

Infographics in Motion

We have created motion graphics for promotional and educational purposes to help visually represent the story in a more entertaining way using visualizations throughout the video.

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Data Visualization & Infographics

User Interaction Design

Information/Data Architecture

Application Development

Motion Graphics

We are creative nerds

We are data geeks

We are entrepreneurs

We are designers

We are technologists

We love sushi

We strive for perfection

Boost labs is a technical design firm located in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area.

We specialize in Data Visualization and User Interface Design to bring life to great ideas, whether they result in print, web, mobile, or other products. We are looking for clients who value design clarity and cutting-edge user experiences.
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From Our Blog

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information_design

Building the Right Team: The Role of the Information Designer in Data Visualization

The total volume of information in the world is growing exponentially (actually, it’s doubling each year). On top of that, information is more important to marketing and business intelligence than it’s ever been. Because displaying that information in an easy-to-digest data visualization or infographic is so important, it’s crucial to have the right skillset on your visualization team. All designers handle the challenge of presenting information. Their objective is always to engage and enlighten, and often to persuade. However, not all designers are capable of presenting complicated data stories and insights in a way that is: Engaging Explanatory Easily absorbed Accurately portrayed Enter the information designer. How is an information designer different from a graphic designer? Let’s start with an analogy: Baseball pitchers and information designers have a lot in common. There are 9 men on the field for a professional baseball team at any given time, and they all have at least one thing in common: They can throw a ball fast and accurately. However, that doesn’t mean they can all pitch. There’s more to pitching than just throwing the ball hard and straight – it’s a specific talent and skillset that must be found and cultivated. The same is true of information designers. Most professional designers are skilled at using layout, color and other graphical elements to make the presentation of information attractive and readable. But, typical graphic designers tend to be concerned with generating an emotional response only in the viewer. The information designer, on the other hand, tackles different communications challenges. While an information designer’s final product must be attractive and eye-catching, their true job is to connect intellectually with emotion. That means that an information designer will place a higher priority on accuracy and ease of data consumption within an aesthetically pleasing visual context. However, engaging graphics are still a key part of their responsibility. Information designers don’t abandon the idea of having a visually compelling end-product – they simply make sure that their presentation decisions reinforce the data instead of obscuring it. What makes an information designer special? First and foremost, a good information designer needs to be a good graphic designer. The skillset required to create great data visualizations and infographics includes the same graphic design understanding and training of a traditional designer. As a general rule, an information designer is fully capable of handling the role of a traditional graphic designer. The opposite, however, cannot be said. A good information designer has additional skills that lend themselves toward understanding and presenting data. For some, these come from a background in mathematics, statistics, or research. For others, it may be business school or management training. Whatever the reason, data speaks to these people and they are able to coherently “speak data” to others. Put plainly, an information designer will be better equipped to understand the story within your data and then tell it with a data visualization. That means they can: Create the project more efficiently Notice discrepancies or other issues with the data set Offer insight into better ways to reach your objectives Work directly with analysts to find additional data points Sharing the tremendous amount of data you have is a challenge. Build your data visualization team with an information designer at its core, and you have an advantage that leads directly to an amazing final product. If you feel you’re not getting full value from your organization’s available information, Boost Labs can help you unlock the business potential of your information through visual content marketing strategies and practical information design.

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Five Frequently Asked Questions about Motion Graphics

The old saying that “a picture is worth 1000 words” is a bit overused these days… but that’s probably because it succinctly gets the point across: A concept is easier to understand when it’s visualized. That concept goes one step further with the advent of motion graphics. Relative newcomers to the world of visual content marketing, motion graphics inspire a lot of questions. In order to help see where they fit into your overall marketing plan, we’ve compiled five of the most commonly asked questions about motion graphics (and, of course, answered them): Motion Graphic FAQ #1: What is a motion graphic? Simply put, a motion graphic is an infographic with animated elements. Like infographics, they are often focused on presenting complex data in an interesting and easily-absorbed fashion. By giving traditional infographics dynamic movement and interaction, they become much more compelling and engaging. For an example, check out this motion graphic we made for the AANAPISI. What about Interaction? When you add interactive elements to an infographic it’s more commonly referred to as an interactive visualization than a motion       graphic. Motion Graphic FAQ #2: How are motion graphics delivered? While the delivery method you choose typically depends on how you want to communicate with your audience, motion graphics are most typically delivered as a video. To distribute the video, people frequently use video distribution sites like YouTube or Vimeo, HTML5 video plugins or even embedded flash video. Motion Graphic FAQ #3: When is it appropriate to use a motion graphic vs. a static graphic? Motion graphics are most valuable as an overview of a specific subject or concept. For someone learning about a topic for the first time, a motion graphic can provide an overview that is engaging and explanatory.  Because of this, many motion graphics are used at the beginning of a live presentation to draw in the audience and present an introduction or summary of the data to come. However, outside of a live presentation or first time overview, viewers may become restless if they want to jump into specifics and have to sit through the video to get to them. Additionally, the cleverness and style of a motion graphic can become stale when people view it multiple times. If your goal is to make a statement and get an audience started on a topic, then a motion graphic is an excellent choice. If you’re presenting data that requires deeper and repeated examination, a static information graphic or interactive visualization are better options. Motion Graphic FAQ #4: How do you build one? At the end of the day, making a motion graphic is very much like making an animated movie containing many simplified infographics. Because of that, the steps to create a great motion graphic look very much like the movie-making process: Start with a story – Before you can begin any motion graphic, you need to decide what the story you’re trying to tell is.  (And, of course, you must have collected the data the story will come from.) Create a script – Unlike a static infographic, which is typically used to highlight key points of a data story, motion graphics focus on having a conversation about all or (more likely) part of the story. That means you need to know where the conversation will start and end – what you expect people to know coming into, and then leaving your motion graphic. Develop a storyboard – Once your script is outlined, the design stage begins. A storyboard is created based on the script with appropriate visuals designed to back up what’s being said. A word about length: It’s tempting to want to create a motion-graphic with the same length considerations as live video (for example, 2-3 minutes   seems easy and doable). However, because of the animated/slide-based nature of motion graphics, a much shorter production is usually better. 2-3 minutes of motion graphic is somewhere around 45 slides of content. Production – After all the planning is done, it’s time to create the final visuals, get the audio cut and stitch it all together into the final product. Remember not to rush through this process. For the final product to tell the right story and reflect the professionalism of your brand, it’s important to go through each of these stages and take the time to do them right. Motion Graphic FAQ #5: What’s the difference between a good and bad motion graphic? As with all messaging, storytelling is key.  A good motion graphic tells a compelling narrative, with the visual elements backing up the story and reinforcing the message. A bad motion graphic may include breaks, gaps, skips, confusing non sequiturs, mixed messages, unnecessary data (overloading the screen to make data absorption difficult), too much text on screen, headlines that don’t match with the supporting data and other pitfalls that hinder the story being told. To avoid these issues, ask people you trust to critique your motion graphic during the development stage. If they see a rough clip, and there are parts that are confusing them, edit or rework accordingly. The key is to do this earlier instead of later: Static infographics are relatively easy to rework, but a motion graphic with audio tracks and animation are much harder to change. Do you have any unanswered questions about motion graphics? Contact us and one of our data design specialists can answer your questions and help determine the right approach for your next visualization. All Boost Labs Data Visualization Services

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Information Dashboards

How an Information Dashboard Can Offer Clarity and Insight to Your Business

In most businesses, data is a highly underutilized tool. Existing in spreadsheets, databases, and otherwise difficult-to-access forms, it’s rarely analyzed efficiently or thoroughly. This means valuable insights may go completely overlooked, potentially costing an organization money and wasting resources. Many organizations attempt to make their data more useful by hiring an in-house data analyst (or by assigning analysis responsibilities to an existing worker). While this works for some businesses, it’s not right for all – especially those unable to justify the cost of having a full-time analyst on their staff. What if there is an easier way to pull insights from data without the hassle of training a new employee or forcing management to endure hours of statistics classes? Enter information dashboards. What is an Information Dashboard? As we’ve discussed before, an information dashboard is a simple and clear way to visualize important business data. By utilizing a data visualization dashboard, upper- and mid-level management can personally see their organization’s key performance indicators and make decisions based on that information. Essentially, an information dashboard tells the story of an organization’s data. It answers the questions, “How are we doing right now, and how does that compare to how we could be doing?” One reason an information dashboard is so useful is that the data is presented in a visual way. At Boost Labs, we analyze the unique business use cases of our clients to determine the most effective way to visually communicate their important data. Our specialty is developing new data visualization dashboard concepts. This was the case in the visualization we created for U.S. Census Bureau. Saving Time and Money with a Digital Dashboard Creating and using custom information dashboards benefits organizations in several ways: Dashboards help prioritize and make sense of the almost overwhelming amount of data available to most companies. Employees can save time (and company money) by using easy-to-interpret dashboards instead of analyzing emails, papers, documents, and databases themselves. Upper management can access real-time data without needing to have information translated through a data analyst. Dashboard information is “read only,” meaning there’s no chance of accidentally changing or erasing database information when trying to view it. Public information dashboards about a company can be used to promote positive awareness (such as a live count of people helped through an organization’s services). Because they deliver real-time data, dashboards provide a reliable source of information (rather than outdated data) for decision making. The entire company can monitor performance of the company, which means everyone can celebrate the wins or rally to save the day Why a Custom Dashboard is Absolutely Necessary Without delivering the time- and cost-saving benefits described above, a dashboard won’t have a significant return on investment. To make sure a digital dashboard is a smart investment, it needs to have metrics that are tailored to the target audience – a specific organization’s employees. Customization doesn’t need to stop at the organizational level. Depending on the type of customization, it’s even possible for employees in the same organization to see a different data visualization dashboard depending on their roles and data needs. For example, a manager may see one set of data visualized on a dashboard (such as sales for his or her team), while a vice president would need to have a summary of different information (such as the company’s monthly revenue). No matter where an employee is in an organization, a custom-built data dashboard can improve the quality of decision making, save time, and bring a positive return-on-investment. However, it’s important that the data dashboards used are customized to meet the needs of the organization it serves. If your business uses data of any kind – and it most definitely should – contact us to learn more about how you can implement data dashboards to save money, time and gain insight into your data.

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704 Quince Orchard Road, Suite 250
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

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