05 April 2012

Critique: Priming

Today’s poster comes from Alejandro de la Vega, and is used with his permission.

My big concern with this is the reading order. Here’s a “red line”to show the order you’re expected to look at the pieces:

The poster starts off going down in columns, which makes you think when you get to the Methods section that you should keep reading down. But no! Suddenly, you’re snaking back and forth across the page.

This is a major structural problem, and everything else is comparatively minor.

Something you can’t see on small pictures is a little detail in the graph. You may have to click to enlarge to see that the yellow bar in the graph has cross-hatching in it. The differences in colours are so obvious, and the cross hatching is so subtle, though, that the graph would be better off without them.

Speaking of graphs, the error bars on both graphs are unlabelled. And error bars only need go in one direction.

In the text, the bullet points do not clearly distinguish between the main points and less important sub-points. To put it another way, the hierarchy of information is not clear. All the text is the same size. All the bullets are the same size. Using smaller text and different bullets (perhaps open rather than filled) for the secondary points would help.

The only cue that some points are major and some are minor is the indenting. And even that isn’t handled well. Bullet points look better when the text of the second and later lines are aligned with the first word of the top line.That is,

● This is how points are currently displayed;
with words left aligned with bullets.

  • But it would be better if they looked like this,
    with words left aligned with other words.
There are other little typographic nits with symbols. There’s a letter X instead of a multiplication symbol (×), and a hyphen and greater than symbol (->) instead of a proper arrow (→).

Finally, I would just use the lighter blue that the text is on for the whole poster. The darker blue just makes the poster more “boxy” and complicated visually.

1 comment:

@IngridNeuro said...

Hey! I really like your criticals on posters. It's very constuctive ! 
I made my first poster for an examination in my course. I tried to follow some of your advices :-) 
And I will be happy if you could give your opinion on it :-D