04 February 2010

Critique: Directed protein evolution

I cannot recall with certainty where I encountered this poster, but it is archived here.

There’s not a lot of text on this poster (good), but the two very wide columns means that each line is very long and hard to track (bad). Worse, each clean columns dissolves into a mess of three smaller columns... (click to enlarge).

Once you get to the results section, there is no clear reading order. Dividing one column into a badly aligned trio of three columns is very confusing, because there are no clear signals as to whether I should start reading in columns or rows. Although I hate to suggest it, putting boxes around either the columns or rows might have helped give that cue. That there aren’t such boxes is surprising, given how many boxes there are (around the figures, coloured boxes around the main text).

The “long lines” problems resurface in the conclusions. It’s not clear if there is supposed to be one paragraph (probably advisable, given how few lines there are) or three. If three, indenting or separating would have helped.

Let’s see what happens when unnecessary ink, like extra boxes and unnecessary efforts at branding, is removed.

The revision doesn’t clear up the structural problems in the middle of the poster, but shows how much extra space could have been used to separate out the results.

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