26 September 2013

Link roundup for September 2013

This animation shows how to improve graphs, with many of the same lessons I talk about here for posters. Hat tip to Mike Taylor and Anna Sharman. I like it, but it goes just a bit too far in pursuing minimalism. It starts here:

 Here’s where I would have stopped:

But the author goes on...

If you’re going to write numbers instead of having a Y axis, you might as well just have a bulleted list:

  • French fries 607
  • Potato chips: 542
  • Bacon: 533
  • Pizza: 296
  • Chili dog: 260

Do the bars start at zero? Is it a linear scale? Removing the Y-axis makes for too many possibilities for deceptive displays.

The animation above males an appearance in a good rant against infographics. Hat tip to Brian R. Pauw for this one.

90% of the infographics out there are baroque, non-selective compositions of facts.

Comic book letterer Todd Klein has created a “Compendium of calligraphic knowledge.” Beautiful, and with good lessons for conference posters, too! It’s a signed, 11 × 17" limited edition print of 300 copies. All for the price of $16 plus shipping. You can buy it here.

A Bit of Behavioural Ecology would like to remind you: Nobody cares about you. (Actually, they might, but they have a point about conference posters: nobody will be as engaged and fascinated with your work as you are.)

Tech In Translation has some musings on the differences between academic conferences and tech conferences.

1 comment:

Joel Kelly said...

I disagree slightly- putting numbers on each bar allows for both qualitative and quantitative comparisons to be made very easily in a way that bulleting does not. (Analogous to Tufte's sparklines).

I agree they could have left the y-axis to show that the scale is linear.