reading response

The Duck

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I was really interested in what Tufte had to say regarding "duck" design having just finished his article for MAPC orals. I was very intrigued by the idea that graphics shouldn't be flat but should reflect our 3-denominational world. However, Tufte explains that there are a limits, or "ducks" that place ornamentation above information.

Gaudy Isn't Good

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I found that the most helpful part of this chapter was the explanation of simplicity and clarity. While it may seem obvious, I've always been told throughout my years in school that after completing a chart or graph I should strive to make it look nice, and that cluttered information is a bad thing. This book kind of redefined that for me, as it showed me information graphics that I would tell you are horrible.

Ch 1 Tufte

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I believe the most important concept mentioned in Ch. 1 is the idea of tabular arrays of numbers (data entries). The viewer is able to absorb a lot of information in a straight forward and easy way. The best example they give is the Law School aptitude test percentile. It shows GPA and LSAT scores. This type of information display is still used frequently. I saw it used a lot when I was applying to college. The graphs would show me the average GPA range, and the acceptance percentage to a particular college. It was very helpful and interesting to see.

Envisioning Information- Chapter One

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I think the most important principle mentioned in Chapter One is that of small multiple. This means that the same design structure is repeated for all of the images. Tufte says, "Once viewers decode and comprehend the design for one slice of data,they have familiar access to data in all the other slices" (29). He also notes that the consistency in the design allows the viewers to focus on changes in the information rather than the graphical changes. He uses an example of air pollution, but this also applys to the LSAT table.

Tufte Chapter 1 - Most Important Principle

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I believe the most important principle in Chapter 1 of Tufte's Envisioning Information to be the concept of "multiple-function" discussed on page 26. This concept explains how several variables relating to a specific topic can be organized within a matrix like table. The example alluded to is a Japanese train schedule which "served as an internal planning document for the Java Railroad" (26). Essentially, the table functions as a schedule and timetable for eight types of trains.

Envisioning Information- Most Important Principle

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In my opinion, the most important principle in Chapter 1 is the the arrangement of the the graph at the top of page 28. It depicts an ocean-eye view of Japan, documenting the weather forecasts for 15 areas in Japan. The images next to each city's name are extremely helpful because they are applicable specifically to visual learners. The design is very readable and it helps me understand information design because it shows the importance of organization in a design. This graph is very effective because of the organization of its design.

New York City- To Much Information

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There are many examples of information overload seen in New York City’s Times Square. When I visited the overwhelming environment created by bright lights and towering skyscrapers the advertisements would attempt to slither there way into any free space. The dense populated area leads to information ineffectiveness due to the maximum capacity of various signs. In particular, street signs are merged on top of each other so tightly a viewer has to sort through multiple channels to determine which direction they are going. Below is a link to cluttered street signs in NY.

So you think they sell Cigars?

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Talk about information overload- this window display I saw in Fort Lauderdale goes way above and beyond with "selling their product" The amount of window display lights that are presented are unnecessary and actually "waste energy" both for the customer/viewer and for the actual environment/electric bill/etc.

The addition of the ATM might be the only significant light that needs to be there- and it's ignored because of all the ridiculous lights that are placed in front of it.

Quantitative Issues

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I found this poster on one of the walls in the hallway, and to me, it's information overload. The poster is all in the same font, and it's too overwhelming for me to actually want to read and find out what the poster is advertising. The font that's used is also difficult to read and very unappealing.

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