A visual will almost always trump text, but sometimes text functions as a visual itself. The other day a client who offers a SaaS product called asking if there was a better way to show feature options across various versions than his current tabled list. I can’t show his list, but it was very similar to this from Quicken:
We’ve all seen things like this and the reason is that things like this work quite well in quickly comparing and contrasting in order to make a decision. This is a time when simple checkmarks or missing checkmarks serves as a highly informative visual story.
Today I received an email from Jim Johnson, a New Jersey gubernatorial candidate contrasting himself with his primary challenger. And I loved it. It was nearly all text, but the repetition of Murphy’s limited diversity of experience was easily readable and served as a glanceable visual with a big story.
Sometimes a table is simply the best choice. And sometimes text does communicate visually.
This week we’re all releasing our tax returns so listeners can fully understand any conflicts of interest we might have. Just kidding. We’re not doing that either. But we are talking all about how we do business and charge for presentation design: deposits, payment terms, discounts, penalties, rush rates, our favorite contract clauses and much more.
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I have Photoshop open most of the day and yet, when I need to stretch a photo to fill the entire slide, I almost always use this hack directly in PowerPoint to make it happen without actually distorting the photo.
This also works great when converting a 4:3 presentation to 16:9.
Above is a quick video tutorial on how to do it!
Check out my YouTube Channel for this and more presentation hacks and tutorials.
Interesting insights into state of design from John Maeda.
Download PDF from Slideshare as slideshow rasterizes horribly.
And interesting poor data design practices. Come on, percentage axes not labeled as “%”, missing axes, those sized circle things, legends…There is a point where removing too much from a data visualization causes is to take longer to read.
As ShinyTile points out, the Oscars logo catches the eye first, and in this context is entirely irrelevant to the purpose and usage of the card. I assume the cards are nice keepsakes (in addition to the statues), and so I’m okay with keeping the logo, but minimizing it and making it the last thing the eye might read. In its place at the top center, I would place the category in the same Oscar logo gold. That should be the first place the reader’s eye goes and it should serve to confirm the category winner about to be announced. But immediately after the category is processed by the reader, the next thing is the winner and the first thing announced—big, bold and in all caps.
I’m okay with the title being all caps, but I would make the additional information (in this case the producer names), sentence cap as I think this is easier for the eye to read, especially with longer and more complicated names. The only things read aloud are in black and the other two items are in the less prominent gold.
I admit that I knew and know very little about Du Bois and certainly had no idea that he created such visually unique and careful visualizations. The critic in me wants to say that some of these do not hold to modern best data viz practices, but damn, sometimes you want to get lost in a careful study of data and spend some time with beautiful meaningful graphic design. And that’s what you certainly do with these visualizations.