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I came across FF Chartwell yesterday, a font library that creates charts from a sequence of numbers. For instance, type 25+5+100+45+23 and you can produce the area chart on the right with just a click.

Creating charts from numbers

Watching the video, I realized this was the first time I had seen anyone create a chart without either using a spreadsheet or a command line. This is the simplest and most intuitive UI for graph creation yet. It’s also brilliant for mobile devices and tablets.

This is the direction data visualization and content creation must go. I’m a huge fan of projects like D3.js, R, but these tools will always be reserved for developers and data scientists. Technologies like Chartwell, with a beautiful simplicity, will change the way hundreds of millions of people interact with data.

What simplifying technologies have you seen recently?

NB: This font library takes advantage of OpenType, a Microsoft font technology, that I wasn’t familiar with before discovering this font.

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