16 April 2020

Critique: Anorexic mice

This poster was done as practice by a group of students, not for a presentation at a conference. Click to enlarge!

You could put this up in a conference and it would probably be one of the nicer looking posters there.

The layout is quite clean. There is lots of white space, and the text is readable.

The mouse graphic is nice, but would be better placed if the head was facing into the center of the poster. We look where faces look, and this makes you want to look off the page. Possible solution: flip mouse, left justify title, move logo to right side instead of bookending title.

There's no standard way of presenting a boxplot, so you need to specify somewhere what the components mean. (Is the center line mean or median? Are the whiskers quartiles or confidence intervals or something else?)

The boxplots are a little hard to read from a distance. Maybe thicken the lines a little or fill the box with a light colour?

In the middle column, the first line of first paragraph seems much closer to graph than anything else. If you have guidelines to make the margins between columns even, the particular layout with ragged right is defeating the purpose. Putting a soft return before "was" might solve it.

The callout box with the summary is good, but I had to dig down to the middle of sentence before I understand why the authors made all the measurements. Maybe start with, "Anorexia is a human eating disorder that we studied in mice by measuring mitochondrial activity, neuropeptide levels and hypothalamic glucose uptake" and continue from there.

“But the title says anorexia! Why are you complaining that you don't know what the summary is about until you're halfway through?” Because the callout has about as much, if not more, visual weight than the title. The callout is in the upper left where people look first, and it’s highlighted it with attention getting red. The title is downplayed by the choice of such a thin font.

The right edge of the callout box doesn’t align with the edges of the flowchart or text below it.

The position of the mouse brain drawing is not at the point of need. The hypothalamus is mentioned in the first normal paragraph. When I read that first sentence, that's when I probably want to know, “Where is the hypothalamus?”

Probably a lot of the paragraph text “Differences in hormonal activity” could be changed into a statistic summary, inserted into the corner of the box plots.


Anonymous said...

I like the color scheme with dusty pink and black/grey. Even the logo harmonizes with the style! But it would have been even more consistent if they took the color shades from the photo of the mouse. Pick one or two pink shades and maybe one or two grey/taupe ones and stick to those. Or why not the deep red of the logo? The colors in the mouse brain breaks with the rest. It would have helped to draw attention to the right things if the hypothalamus was highlighted with light red/pink, and the rest of the brain was left white or light grey or taupe.

Unknown said...

Hmm i would move the mouse to the left where the logo is. I think that would have nailed it