Every year at its MAX conference, Adobe shows off a couple of interesting prototypes that may or may net end up in one of its products. This year is no exception as the company highlighted 11 projects from its labs today. These included Project Lincoln, a tool that everybody who has ever tried to visualize data would surely welcome with open arms.
Here is the general idea: Say you want to create a simple bar graph. You simply draw a bar, replicate that a few times, attach every bar to a column in your spreadsheet and there’s your visualization. From there, you can add more data, try some different graph types, colors, etc. You could do the same thing with line graphs, bubble graphs and anything else you can think of. If it has a length, diameter or color, you can make it a part of your visualization.
In a typical scenario, you’d start from your data and then work on your visualization from there. With Project Lincoln, you start with the idea for your visualization and then attach the data as you go along.
Adobe argues that existing tools today are either too complicated or too limiting, especially for designers who want total control over their creation. To built a custom visualization, you either need to draw them from scratch with a tool like Illustrator or you need to learn how to program.
So if you have any recovering data visualization gurus in your life, tell them about this. It’ll probably make them happy.