Wednesday, September 7, 2011

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

Graphs have been used to present data from a long time and nowadays are extremely essential in data analysis. The paper argues that most of the methods that have been followed are on a  general agreement and in a way that is pleasing to the eye. The paper detours from this general perception of graph design and presents the science of human perception that determines the right design.

The paper tests as to how people usually perceive information from a graph and propose a way in which the design is to be altered to be more visually perceptive to the user. This theory is also tested and some strong changes are suggested by the authors in the form of alternative graph forms.

This paper amuses me in the way in talks about the power of visual perception. When I read it, it seems so obvious that we actually perceive different info from different objects, ex: I do think of diameters when I see circles and not the area but such an observation is invigorating. I also did learn about the many other types of representation and found the curve-difference and juxtaposed cartesian graphs interesting.

After comparing the way various graphs are perceived, the authors suggest a other types of graphs like dot-charts and modifications to existing graph forms.This paper suggests guidelines that need to be followed for a better graph design but other factors depending on the data and type of function that is to be presented should also be considered.

Overall I feel that it was an interesting paper. I would like to know more about why the different perceptions and how they can be taken greater advantage of in representing large info in more specialized graph forms. I also wonder if the same perception rules apply to a large audience as I feel everyone does look at things differently except in very obvious cases.