Dragga and Voss

I didn’t write Dragga and Voss post in the first place, however, since Mr.Liddle said that article is very famous in his field, I should give a try. Words and picture reinforce each other. However, “seeing is not believing”, and there is a limitation of the rules of ethics of visual communication, we could not avoid all the distortions and deceptions. We need to bring humanity to technical presentation, therefore “ethical visuals must be as humanistic as ethical words”. However some time, due to the efficiency of the statistic, it is hard to humanize certain visual. And sometime humanized graph is not easy understanding. My opinion on the cruel pie chart and all the humanized graph related opinions: I think it is not very necessary to try that hard to make viewer comfortable. A statistic graph, people certainly expect it to be precise and understandable. Humanization is decoration. To be frank, examples in the possible solution are just ridiculous.

Here is a humanized bar graph:)



So, is it really make people feel better by humanizing the graphs.


Barton and Barton

This article starts with something really deep and I am not sure I fully understood. I think authors are trying to reveal the essence of maps. Map is a powerful way to display statistical data and in order to be powerful enough, we need to denaturalize of the nature. Rule of inclusion is the method to determine what to draw in the map and what not to. To apply this to the course or the final project, I think we should let the viewer focus on exactly what creator focus on, some time this is hard. Rules of exclusion suggest me to not put too much or too hard information in the map or other project which will lead viewers have hard time on understanding it.

During the reading I found an interesting fact that I just known a couple of years ago, that is every society think they are the center of the world and in their maps, they are all in the center. Here is how China’s maps look like.


My question will be what else in this article could apply to our final project design.

Dombrowski on Celebrex©

This is a very short case analysis. There is pain relief pill called Celebrex©, and there is a specific commercial that is very controversial. Author give us his opinion about this commercial, basically author implied that the director or creator of this commercial is intentionally and deliberately mislead the potential buyer and the way it was created is unethical. It made some critical information unable to read. As a normal person watch this commercial, I totally agree what author said and I will not trust any product from this company any more. As a commercial maker, I suppose, I should keep in mind the code of being ethical. However, if I am the boss of the company, I feel very less guilt about this thing and I would consider author is being dramatic, because, this is commercial, the only purpose of a commercial for this boss who is paying this is to draw more and more people buy the product. The boss would not care how ethical it is, and it is not it did not has the information in it, it is just hard to read. Consumer themselves should have the brightest eyes to discriminate the bad commercial or the bad product.

I live in US for more than three years and the major difference in commercial I found is in US, in the commercial you can name you competitor and say how bad they are out loud. Like kindle fire aiming ipad, t mobile aiming at&t and Jaguar commercial has audi and Mercedes car without any cover of their logos.

So my question is, the behavior like misleading the viewer by make info hard to read is unethical, would this kind of behavior consider as unethical? I personally don’t appropriate this kind of commercial at all.

Manning and Amare on visual rhetoric ethics

I didn’t get the time to read thoroughly, again. After I glanced through I think this article is another one that use enough detail to make points like “don’t do that too much” and “you should do that with reason like this”. Author give us 3 things that could lead to an unsuccessful PowerPoint: lack of clear contrasts, no filter for irrelevant detail and audience can extract no generalizations. I used to not very appreciate the summarized rules like this, however, I recently read about Apgar score which is the score for whether worth or not to save a newborn. The newborns’ problems didn’t change, but with the rules like this, doctors have an intention to save if the newborn have high enough score. This high increase the survival of newborns. My point is, with the 3 things author mention about we could have an intention to follow and therefore we would get a relatively good PowerPoint or other visuals.

My example is Apple’s PowerPoint, actually, it is called Keynote. I always see people consider Apple’s announcement slides as one of the best example of a successful slide. I think so too. Base on author’s standards. This piece of slide doesn’t lack of clear contrasts, no irrelevant detail.

So the question will be, the author mentioned “to treat fairly all persons regardless of such factors as race religion gender….” Some time people actually don’t realize they are being sexist or racist on what they are doing, and some people can finder in some way to say that your work is being racist, how to address this situation.

Tufte on visual statistic and reasoning

When Tufte talk about visual statistic, he used two example. The first one is cholera epidemic in London and NASA’s space shuttle. I have heard a short version of the cholera and John Snow’s story when I was a kid. Snow used several kinds of graph and analyzed them, by analyzing Snow did find the cause and solve the problem. As a statistic major student, when I use graph or data, I just use them to solve the homework, I don’t even think about what a good presentation of data can solve problem in real life. I did not read the space shuttle part thoroughly. I think it is just another example to make the point that, good design, clear and precise visual representation can solve the problem easily.

diminishing return

A good visual statistic should be objective and don’t try to fool people with dramatic difference in the graph while comparing data. The example here is trying to convince people tuition does not worth. If look closer, you can see the problem, it is just 4 year tuition and one year earning and also education is not something that can be quantified by the amount of money made. I think people who made this graph probably did not get enough education to understand the reason of it.

Question: to build the set of statistical analysis like Snow, you have to be will trained so that you know what you do can be useful. But like us, like for the case study, we probably do not certain about if it is a good representation of data and therefore solve problem or lead to a conclusion. Do you have some advice for dummies.

Tufte on data graphics

In first chapter of the reading, Tufte talked about data-ink and graphical redesign. The main idea of this chapter is when make a data graphic, to show the data is priority, and author brings out a concept called data-ink ratio which equals to the ratio between the ink used for data and total ink. Maximize this ratio with reason with result a better graph, with nothing redundant. And the next chapter is about chartjunk. Producing too much vibration in data graph could result distraction. Use grid only if it is necessary, don’t put heavy print grid on both sides of on page. Finally don’t try too hard on decorating. Author talked about the kind of data graphics he liked and the ones he did not like. All of them are reasonable and convincing.


This graph is from my statistic class’s project. We use SAS, author mentioned, a very popular statistic package used for data analysis, I think this could fit author’s requirement of a good data graphic, data is the most important parts, besides data, there is nothing distracting.

Question: Even though the bad example Tufte mention is reasonable ineffective for simple data analysis, however, I found some of those example are very interesting and creative. Could it be right that some time effectiveness could get in the way of creativeness?

Paik and Schraw on animation and IU

Authors first divided animation into two type, representational and directive. Representational animation is like cartoon, in my opinion. Viewer can get the full set of movement of a specific item. And directive animation is to help combining aural and visual component together, like highlight certain words in a paragraph. Authors claim both types of the animations have positive and negative effect. Representational animation possibly make viewer underestimate the difficulty of the things that been illustrate and have like engagement to think. Authors cannot satisfied with words and logic, after them introducing several parameters, like JOD, JOC and JOV, that can affect those two types of animations. They start to use statistic, I found this part very interesting. I didn’t expect I can have something about ANCOVA Table in this course. I saw that they use 65 psychology undergraduate students as the sample for authors’ analysis. I think the sample size is not big enough and less convincing, but anyway, authors tried to find the correlations between those data, some parts of the knowledge is actually beyond my learning as statistic major. The good thing is, based on the result, authors did not provide an exact conclusion, and instead, they leave us a few questions to think through, I think this is because the sample does not have strong evidence to prove a point.

I use to have a hard time to tie a tie, I tried to learned by myself use the introduction above, it is kind of like representational animation, but I failed, I ended up with watch a YouTube video tutorial.

So question, author mentioned SAT score for the students they used for sample. Is IQ really matters, for viewers understand a animation, or for designers to make a understandable animation.