Monday, April 24, 2017

Dispatch from Palo Alto: A Joy in this Intensely Multivariate World: Edward Tufte's "Presenting Data and Information"

C'est moi in Palo Alto,
After the ET Presenting Data and Information workshop
Yonder back, about a decade ago, on the rave recommendation of a graphic designer friend, I took Edward Tufte's one day workshop, Presenting Data and Information, and it was such a joy of an inspiration that ever since I had wanted to take the class a second time. Finally, in Palo Alto this Monday, it was possible. Herewith a few notes and links:

Beautiful Evidence, one of several books by ET
Includes more than 200 essays

Books by Edward Tufte

Twitter: @EdwardTufte

Links from the handout:

From Envisioning Information by Edward Tufte:

"clutter and confusion are failure of design, not attributes of information" (p. 51)

"What we seek... is a rich texture of data, a comparative context, an understanding of complexity" (p.51)

Visual Explanations by Edward Tufte
Practical advice for presentations on p. 68.

From this workshop, random E.T. quotes of note:
"the world is intensely multivariate"
"respect your audience, endlessly"
"I'm not going to dumb things down, I'm going to make everyone smarter"
"How do I know that? How do they know that?"
"Start with a document, not a deck"
"Keep architecture simple, content rich" 
"A visualization should provide reasons to believe"
"If you have any reason to bring in a three dimensional object, do so"
"Find successful things in the wild. Where is the ceiling of excellence?"
"Keep an open mind, not an empty head"
"The point of an information presentation is to explain something with credibility and to help viewers understand the content, help them reason. Show causality."
"Separate the sheep from the goats"
"Sculpture is a work of art that casts shadows"
"When things are spacially adjacent this lets the audience be in charge"

I eagerly await ET's forthcoming book, Meaning and Space. 

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