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"Graphical elegance is often found in simplicity of design and complexity of data" (p. 177). Design should be simple and only as necessary to ship displaying the data. It should be professional, balanced and scaled, and have more complexity in detailthan in design. I like the phrase "accessible complexity" (p. 177) as it denotes sophistication that readers can still understand.Five major choices for design: sentences, text-tables, tables, semi-graphics and graphics. The sentence is our most useful for single pieces of data sentence is our most useful for comparing two pieces of data, whereas the text-tables and tables shouldbe utilized for more data.i.e., Design Type Number of DataSentences 1-2Text-Tables 3+Tables 3+Semi-Graphics 2+Graphics 2+Avoid pie charts! Tables are always better as pie charts are harder to read.Tables, rather than graphics, work well for small datasets.A super-table has multiple sections and comparisons going both horizontally and vertically. When ordered in a way that could best tell the story, they can beattractive to readers. The horizontal text can be divided into sections like topical paragraphs would be in an essay; and so arranged as to see similarities werelinks between the paragraphs. Remember data journalism is just as much storytelling as other forms of journalism.The figure on page 180 (New York Times, January 2, 1979 p. D-3) is an awesome example of how to use both text and table to make a graphic. It looks almostlike a bar chart that runs along on negative-positive number line. The black bar on the middle represents the actual results whereas the white boxes in order fromgreatest to least (running top to bottom) show what people were thinking and how close they were to the real. Those forecasts which were higher than the actualare placed above the black line, and those forecasts which are below the actual are placed underneath."Words and pictures belong together" (p. 180). Graphics are paragraphs about data and should be treated as such. Printing requirements say that text should beseparated from graphics and tables; however it is more appealing to the eye and encouraging to the reader to have the visuals in-line with the text, especially asthey are being referred to. "Refer to Figure x is not as appropriate as displaying Figure x underneath the sentence where it is referenced. Graphics communicatetherefore they should be with text that communicates. Leonardo Da Vinci is known for integrating graphics into his text."...For graphics and exploratory data analysis, words should tell the viewer how to read the design (if it is a technically complex arrangement) and not what toread in terms of content" (p. 182) Tips for a friendly graphic• A friendly graphic doesn't require a legend as the labels are placed on the graphic itself. Neat!• Blue is most distinguishable from other colors by color-deficient people.• Simple text, simple font• Use both upper- and lowercase, not all caps. Aside from being cyber-yelling, it is harder to read.• See more on p. 183Aesthetics"Lines in data graphics should be thin" (p. 185).Lines of constant width are actually hard to read (compare figures on p. 185).Heavier lines should be used to display heavier or greater amounts of data. Heavier lines should also be used for the main data, with thinner lines saved forstructural purposes.When creating graphics they should be longer than they are tall.Think horizons. We regularly see variances in the horizons, so graphics designed this way will be much easier for the human eye to absorb.Example: Sometimes shaded graphics would be better than the "floating snake" (see first figure on page 187). Shaded graphics more or less give the idea ofmountains or of rugged terrain, or even ocean waves, which our eyes are used to.The longer the graphic, the longer the labels compete on the graphic. Labels that must be wrapped for lack of column width are not the news easy to readA how much wider and taller?If the nature of the data suggests the shape of the graphic follow that suggestionOtherwise, moved toward horizontal graphics about 50 Pur sent wider than toll.But


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UMass Amherst JOURNAL 397DJ - Notes

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