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Presenting Information Visually and Effectively

I have enjoyed the two weeks’ classes very much, because what I have learnt is more than just some techniques and skills in actually making a graphic. It’s about thinking visually, and try to find the best way to present information effectively. I started to realize illustrator is just a tool that you are only to be better at, but the ideas of graphics need to be developed intentionally in order to be rich and powerful.

I like the graphic about death sentenced criminals that we talked about in class. It’s nothing super pretty or complicated, but it’s so clear that how all the criminals end up with. The proportion, the number, and different solutions are shown clearly. It helps audiences understand data that they might otherwise not make sense of.

Sometimes I check New York Times because they usually have wonderful examples. I like it that they present information in a way that’s very organized, and offer interactive options for audiences to click on some information they need most. (The interactive part might need some coding and other techniques).

They do a lot of cool maps, including tracking the oil spill in the Gulf in 2010. I am impressed with the fact that they found out the information for the oil spill for each day, and made the information visual and simple to understand. For a map like this, they need so much information to support. Even though I can tell technically building the map takes a lot of time, but really, the most difficult part of this whole thing is to get all the data – the information without which the map would be impossible.

I have been thinking about the key factors in making a graphic, and figured that valid data information, good organizing of information and good visualization are the most important things. We can’t miss any one of them if we want a fantastic graphic. We need to think about graphic ideas more frequently in order to be a master.

A little bit introduction for myself here: I am second-year graduate student in convergence track. I want to be a multimedia reporter in the future, so one thing I am trying to do is to learn graphics so that I can make information easier for people to understand, especially some data that seems to be boring, or some theory that’s hard to explain. I believe that information graphic is great tool for a good reporter. Nice to meet you all!

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Discussion

2 thoughts on “Presenting Information Visually and Effectively

  1. That’s a series of very powerful (and fun) interactive graphics! The use of color (mostly tan, grey blue, green) here is close to reality. In “Effects on wildlife”, however, the contrast between red and black isn’t very obvious given the density of the dots. Also I don’t quite understand the typography here, as capitalized letters are used quite often.

    Posted by qianruisha | September 5, 2012, 2:17 am
  2. Hello,

    The Gulf oil spill tracking map is a really great graphic. Like you mentioned, the amount of data the creators had to research is really impressive. We learn in the WSJ Guide that research is the first step to a great chart, and any graphic really (20). Information maps are a prime way of utilizing rich data to provide a high visual impact (35). Valid data information, good organizing of information and good visualization are definitely important for creating a great information graphic but we also learn from Dona Wong that the three essential elements for good infographic are rich content, inviting visualization, and sophisticated execution (14).

    Posted by myannamatopoeialife | September 5, 2012, 3:01 am

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