English
4780

Technical Writing

Spring
2017

 

Visuals readings Week 2

How people approach graphical information

Comments

Use of graphics helps a person interpret a situation more quickly. However, even if people find information which is accurate and reliable, that information is essentially useless to those people unless they are able to interpret it and apply it to their current situation. “The power of a graph is its ability to enable one to take in the quantitative information, organize it, and see patterns and structure not readily revealed by other means of studying the data” (Cleveland & McGill, 1984,
p. 535).

Readings

HII-book-chp-8

Voice

 

Presenting numerical data

Comments

A discussion of how to present different types of numerical data and how to make the choice of which presentation method to use.

Readings

presenting-numerical-data

Voice

Area diagrams

Comments

.

 

Readings

 

Voice

 

Consistent image choices

Comments

All of the figures within a document need to look like they were created by the same person. Even when a text only contains graphs, that consistency must be maintained. It can be easy to start designing each image to look good by itself, without keeping it consistent with the rest.

 

If you use clip art (not really a good idea) or create other visuals, then they need to be consistent. Don't start combining cartoony images with realistic images.

 

Readings

 

Voice

 

 

Presenting numbers

Comments

This reading is focused on presenting scientific data, but the same types of information is found in business data. Unfortunately, while scientists are careful about their types of data categories, business tends to use a "numbers is numbers" mentality.

Good communication means using the proper presentation.

 

Readings

Presenting data in tables and charts

Voice

 

 

IKEA is a problematical example for figures

Comments

When visuals are discussed, IKEA directions are consistently brought up as a good example of visuals only. To avoid translation cost, they don't put any words on their assemble instructions.

However, assembly instructions are a simple step-by-step process. Visual-only presentation is not really achievable for complex information. Very little of your information needs fit that definition. Trying to force everything into visual-only (or minimal text) presentation hurts communicating the message.

Notice they had to use words on one of these instructions. Would you really want to put together the beside table from these? When the process gets complex, just visuals are going to start to stress people.

Readings

IKEA-bed

IKEA-bedside-table

Voice

 

 

 

Design by Michael J. Albers Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.
Send me an email.