Reading 1

Kierann Healy’s chapter on ‘badness’ in information graphics walks the reader through the different ways a designer can make a bad or deceiving graph that will not be properly interpreted by the viewer. The main message that can be extracted from this reading is that there are many ways in which one can mess up making a graph. The key to not doing that is by, for the most part, keeping the visuals simple, having correct data, and having the perception of that data conveyed effectively. One interesting point that Healy made was that some charts and graphs that are designed to a greater degree can be better for the viewers, even if it takes them longer to read it. The graph is remembered more easily by the viewer and according to Healy, “makes it more fun to look at.” One thing that I wonder is, does the time that it takes a person to read and understand a graph the most important aspect to a graph? Or does that vary with the subject matter? I think that it depends on the data that the graph is trying to convey. A graph should be aesthetically pleasing and interesting to look at, but if the data does not match the aesthetic, then it should not complicate or get in the way of the information that needs to be conveyed. A graph on a lighter topic matter such as music or pop culture might be able to have more embellishments that might make it harder to read right away rather than a graph on politics or climate change, where the message needs to be understood right away.

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