Presenting and Visualizing Information, Tufte


I had the opportunity to attend one of Edward Tufte’s seminars on Presenting and Visualizing Information. I wasn’t quite sure what I could get out of a 1-day session on such a broad topic..and i’ll end right there because my fears were totally unfounded. It was probably one of the most insightful classes (professionally) that I have ever had, certainly one that is likely to have a big impact on my work onward. Some personal take-aways:
(1) Get out of your own voice and into the voice of the experts, (2) Every bit of data should lead to credibility. In UI design, scrutinize every element. Why is it there? If it’s not adding to the goal, take it out. (3) Hack examples, (in a good way), learn from the best.  (4)”The difference between a good idea and a great idea is the implementation of it”..enough said. Underscores in a large way my move from pure user research to design. Make something. (5) Information is the interface, (6) In presenting ideas, think the best you possibly can about your audience. Think positively about them even when there is criticism or you are challenged. I didn’t expect this interpersonal-dynamics aspect but really appreciated it. (7) As a member of the audience, “Loot the presentation”. Mine it for gold. Even if the presenter isn’t great, search hard for those golden nuggets you can extract. Finally, I appreciated that he showed us how to mine his books, which initially looked daunting. Treasure trove of information. Go if it comes to your city! Don’t miss Tufte.

Published by Jennifer Otitigbe