reading response

Katz Chapter 4 Reading Response

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Within any arrangement of text or groups of text, there is positive and negative figure and ground, information and empty space. The choice in how the information and empty space are arranged is known as organization. Proximity is the closeness in space of two things. Katz uses the example of the menu with the English translations and the Italian descriptions. The two things are so close together, that it is hard to understand the menu. Hierarchy is a matter of ranking which information is the most important and putting it first.

Chapter 4 Reading Response

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Organization is defined as the way that information is displayed and the way that the viewers perceive the information. Proximity can be defined as the degree of "closeness" between objects displayed in the design. Objects that are placed farther away from each other have a greater proximity than those which are placed closer to each other. Finally, hierarchy is defined as the way that information is displayed, specifically relating to its importance. For example, an important piece of information is higher on the hierarchal scale than a less important piece of information.

Katz Ch.4

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Organization of information is how that information is displayed and how readers/viewers interpret the information that is portrayed. Proximity refers to how text or a group of texts are arranged. "How that information and that empty space is configured makes it easier or more difficult to see relationships and to understand the information" (119). So how a text is arranged can affect how the reader/viewer interprets or understands that information.

Katz Ch4 reading response

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Tag: Reading response
Organization as applied to information design is the structuring of content in such a way that it is effectively understood by the audience. (‘Effectively’ here means: quickly, intuitively, accurately and orderly.) Organization can include visual spacing into rows, columns or other spaces; also it includes layering, grouping and aligning text which is an example of proximity.

Conflicting Hierarchy

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organization - has to do with the arrangement of elements, placed specifically to convey relationships between them
proximity - has to do with the relationship of elements based on how close or far away they are form each other
hierarchy - is the order of importance given across multiple elements based on their placement, size, color, font, etc.

Tufte ch. 3

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Tufte's best example of layering and separation is the comparison of maps on pg. 58.

He explains that when elements of a map/representation/etc are "at the same visual level with equal values, equal texture, equal color, and even nearly equal shape"...."an undifferentiated, unlayered surface results."

This quote demonstrates the results of a lack of layering and separation. Differentiation is necessary to avoid jumbling information and causing the message to disappear among the clutter.

Layering and Seperation

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Visual activation of negative areas of white spaces... that illustrates the endlessly contextual and interactive nature of visual elements (pg. 61). Tufte is talking about the two step logic of 1+1=3 and how if you draw two black lines then you get a third image of the white space in the middle. I think Tufte means that creating paths and forming shapes can be made with using lines because of the white space in the middle.


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As Tufte explains, the "layering of data, often achieved by felicitous subtraction of weight, enhances representation of both data dimensionality and density on flatland" (60). I interpret this to mean that layering both adds and subtracts. Layering adds dimensionality to data that is otherwise dull, thus making the info more appealing to the reader. Layering subtracts from the heaviness of data, which makes the information less exhausting to read. It all comes down to how the info is organized.

Tufts Layering

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The main point of Tufte’s strategy for layering information is about connecting the details by bringing different dimensions to create an effective web design. Tuft describes layering as "felicitous subtraction of weight, enhances representation of both data dimensionality and density on flatland (59).” Through layers, information graphics can come to life enhancing its form of communication to the user.

Layering and Separation

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Tufte describes the effectiveness of layering and separation. With designers using different elements such as colors, lines, and symbols it helps enhance what needs to be drawn out and what doesn't. On page 56 Tufte includes a map in his reading. The map in the picture is not overwhelming or creating to much noise (which is something Tufte emphasis while describing the rules and effectiveness in layering and separation. Things such as included road maps had to be clear, simple, and concise because that was how a person got from point A to point B.