Krzywinski built the Center’s first IT system, beefed up their security, designed optimized keyboard layouts, and generally geeked out. Along the way, he started helping researchers with their projects, getting to know their data and its possibilities. The rest is design history.
Falling DNA sequencing prices and a growing appreciation of cellular complexity soon unleashed a torrent of genetic data. The tools for gathering data, though, had outpaced those for portraying it. “I was frustrated, reading a lot of the scientific papers and not understanding what they were saying. I just wanted them to be simpler,” said Krzywinski. “There’s nothing I can do to make biology simpler, but I started telling people to make clearer figures.”