Unit 3 Reading

In Chapter 3 The Beauty Paradox, creating infographics are discussed by means of building a narrative structure with the example of the Diagram. Cairo explains the importance of the visualization wheel as a tool used to help a designer balance features when designing an information graphic. He also notes the importance of identifying your audience and the difference between being on the designers side vs. the users side. Fun and functionality are also mentioned where designs often depend on an audiences nature, knowledge, tastes, and expectation. The chapter caps with philosophies of Edward Tuft and  Nigel Holmes. The two worked side by side with information graphics and visualizations and discuss principles of design in terms of rational scientific approaches which emphasize functionality and then artists who place emphasis on emotion and aesthetics.

In the Chapter 4 The Complexity Challenge talks about the challenges of visually presenting interesting and appealing information but still maintaining readability and good understanding to the audience. The depths of importance of the content being expressed in an infographic should be a main focus rather then the design. Graphics should not be simplified, but rather be used to clarify data like highlighting trends, patterns, and other groups of information. Finding a balance in an infographic is key and directly relates to the visualization wheel. Organization of graphics in layers can help viewers to gain entry point into a graphic which can clue them into how to read what follows. The structure should be thought of first followed by the decoration. Data that is organized and hierarchized in an understandable way is far more important then visual appeal. Lastly, Luiz Iria an infographics director who is discussed followed with examples of his work in which he uses what he calls the boom effect. He expresses this concept as “I want my readers to flip the page and, boom! The inforgraphic shows up as an explosion!”. His approach is to attract his readers with visually appealing graphics that gear the mind and boost memory with beauty. He believes that beauty and functionality are intertwined and that objects can leave us in a better mood and prepare us to have patience when it comes to learning more about the information being presented to us.

Three new data sources:

1. http://www.data-source.com/

2. http://gis.cancer.gov/tools/data_sources.html

3. http://blog.bigml.com/2013/02/28/data-data-data-thousands-of-public-data-sources/

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