Thursday, September 8, 2011

Reaction: Graphical Perception: Theory, Experimentation, and Application to the Development of Graphical Methods

This article provides a strong overview of theories  and experiments that attempt to provide an answer as to how we perceive information, and how we interpret the same information when presented in different ways. Additionally, since there is strong scientific evidence to back up the claims of this author, it provides much more credence to the specific points the author addressed than the previous paper.
 The extensive use of examples to illustrate the intended use of different graphical representations made it much easier to understand , and the layout for graphical theories and then experimentation supporting the theories made a strong case for the author. As the author suggests, some forms of graphs are more useful than others and that many modifications need to be made to currently used charts to improve their effectiveness at communicating information.
What I would find interesting, is how these ideas of graphical representation have changed since the paper was written in 1984, and how many of these ideas have been included in the general lexicon. I will most likely go back and compare these paper and the paper by Healey on my own to help bridge this gap in knowledge.