Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Edward Tufte One Day Seminar

Yesterday I attended a one day seminar in Arlington, VA presented by Edward Tufte.

It was a great presentation and I picked up all four of his books.

quotes and general notes:

Great designs are transparent

Never segregate data by the mode of production.

Show all the data, it provides credibility.

We should be concerned with the quality of thought.

Don't use lowest common denominator design or you will have an intellectual disaster.

Tables out perform graphs for data less than 1000 points.

Screens should be 95% content and 5% administrative debris (scrollbars, toolbars, etc.).  Measure it.

Design the surface first.  Outside-In design.  iPhone designed the hardware platform before the software.  iPhone has one of the highest DPI of any consumer device.

Don't provide an application solution.

Leave the UI alone once it's done.

There is no relationship between the amount of information and the ability to process.  The human eye can process 10mbit/sec.

Don't be an original.  Steal a good design.

Consider a "super graph".  It unifies and relates the audience to the data or theme.

Increase information throughput

Examine how newspapers report data and clone it. Examine "Nature" magazine.

Multivariant problems are the only interesting problems.

Progress in technology is measured in resolution

Don't use legends on graphs.  Put the text on the line.

Maximize content reasoning and minimize decoding

"We want to be approximately right rather than absolutely wrong"

Use Gill Sans Font

Annotate everything

about presentations

  • Show up early for your own presentation to meet people, to show a gracious gesture, and to hand out materials early.
  • Use presentations as a review of the material distributed prior to the meeting.  Maybe simply ask "Are there any questions?" and end the meeting.
  • Use Power Point as a projector operating system
  • Give out handouts before meeting - people can read 2x-4x times faster than you can talk.
  • What is the problem?
  • Who cares? the relevance
  • The solution
  • Have a summary
  • Say you will answer questions when they are done reading
  • Use sentences.  No laundry lists of nouns.  Sentences for you to think causally.
  • Don't use bullet reveals.
  • Practice in front of a friend or a video camera
  • Turn off the video and listen to the audio
  • Ask a trusted friend for criticisim
  • Never begin with an all purpose joke
  • Never apologize at the start of the presentation
  • Stay out of the first person during the introduction
  • Stay on content
  • Finish early

1 comment:

Marla said...

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