Many Readings

Unlike previous weeks, this reading had multiple sources that more or less communicate the same message. It is a message that has been embedded in my brain since the first year of undergrad, “The designer has a responsibility to his/her design.” They key term “responsibility” is sometimes thrown out of the door. These three readings is a reminder of that happens when we tend to forget the impact each design has. I feel this is intensified when the design incorporates data.

Most of rules mentioned on “Misleading Axes on Graphs” were taught to early on. There isn’t much to debate. However, it is important to mention these rules. Typically the used convention when it comes to plotting data should be maintained. If the author wants to test another theory, it may confuse the readers. Again, its about a story that the designer wants to tell. The content should drive the visuals or the experience.

“Proportional Ink” was another reading that focused on the RGB and the CMYK. Going back to the shades of color and the size of the shading is crucial when designing a graph. It can easily be misleading. The key term that stuck was “proportion.” We tend to think of proportion of white space to the content, but we also have to keep in mind the grays in between. In addition, the concept of “3D” should only be used when the information reflects a three dimensional nature.

Finally, “Look at Data” was a compare and contrast reading that allowed me to look at information from a different perspective. Before this class, I was aware of “pretty” graphs and “ugly” charts. But this reading has shown me there is another layer that is far more important. (On a side note, excel tables and graphs need a ReVamp) What I thought was funny was the “frustrating’ Tufte argument. I’m sure that others in class will disagree, however “graphical excellence” is not just preferred but especially nowadays, expected.

Again, it echoes the first point of this response, The designer has a responsibility to his/her design” but now to add “to avoid misinterpretation of the truth.”