Friday, June 25, 2010

Visual Information

I just watched a video of Karl Gude of Michigan State presenting at TEDX Lansing in May 2010. What an excellent presentation on visual design.

Basically, Gude points out that we are on information overload. It’s like a fire hose pouring out into a teacup.
Data comes at us from every direction and we are trying to absorb everything. So how can we make our information relevant and readily available to our audience?

Instead of presenting in print-rich format, you can get more information out more quickly by using graphics and visuals. A reader can skim a graphic and get an overview much more quickly than one can read a pamphlet. Get the information out by SHOWING it to your audience. Then, your reader can scan the information.

Now I know what you’re thinking, “I can’t draw.” Well, me either. There are tons of free programs out there that can create charts and graphs for you. Or stick figures drawn on a napkin work well too. Or use photos. Either way, it’s making me think I need to reevaluate how I present information to teachers, students and clients.

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