The Visual Display of Quantitative Information 2nd Edition
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"Devoted" by Dean Koontz
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- Item Weight : 1.45 pounds
- Hardcover : 200 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780961392147
- ISBN-13 : 978-0961392147
- Product Dimensions : 9 x 1 x 11 inches
- Publisher : Graphics Pr; 2nd Edition (January 1, 2001)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 0961392142
- Best Sellers Rank: #15,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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As each chapter went on I became even more interested in the material that was presented as it seemed very logical and intuitive. I especially enjoyed Professor Tufte's guidelines on maximizing the "data-ink" and minimizing "non data-ink", and was amazed at how he applied these guidelines to graphs I have been using and teaching for many years, making them seem simpler and not as cluttered even if he suggested the "unthinkable" by leaving out gridlines or piece of the axes.
I must admit that I am a bit skeptical about leaving out grid-lines when I produce graphs in excel but I appreciate that making them lighter really helps to de-clutter a graph. But I was totally blown away by how he simplified box and whisker diagrams into quartile plots and how he even removed portions of the vertical and horizontal axis making the graphs easier to read and somewhat more informative.
I'd love to teach these principle to my students (I'm a private tutor) but I know that their in-school teachers would not allow their use as the syllabuses are somewhat antiquated (as are some of the teachers, their beliefs, and methods). They'd probably lose their minds about what Professor Tufte says about pie charts :-D, which, by the way is not to use them as there are better ways to present data. "The only thing worse than one pie chart is more pie charts".
All in all, as someone who's not from a design or art background and with a bit of a background in maths I thoroughly enjoyed this book, its principles, insights, and suggestions, and though it may not be everyone's cup of tea I would readily suggest it to anyone who has more than a passing interest in graphics especially if they're presenting quantitative data. The principles are logical and intuitive, and I really do think that the presentation of graphics should (like anything) be taught well (eschew the decorations/ducks!)
This book is invaluable and has awakened my thirst for more knowledge.
I'm looking forward to reading more!
I do not believe his advice on how to do it has weathered as well as his ability to describe how wonderful it is when it is done well. In the end, I was surprised by how few notes I took on this book. I found his later book Envisioning Information (1990) to be much more interesting, especially his way of describing micro/macro readings, small multiples, and “narratives of space and time.”
This book is about efficient design and layout. It does a great job conveying principles for clear and precise communication. It’s a bit dated, coming from an era when all charts and graphs were made by hand, but principles don’t shift. A reference I will use again and again.
Top reviews from other countries
The book also provides some splendid examples of good graphical design, shockingly most of them fairly old - i.e. the field did not progress nearly as much as should be expected, with most of the progress being pre-20th century, with several unfortunate steps back from the 1920s to 1970s (shown as well). Another interesting facet is the historical development of methods for presenting quantitative information, which is interesting in its own right.
This book should be essential reading for anyone who relies on visually presenting quantitative information and is an absolute must in management consulting.