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Tufte - Lunch and Learn

Some takeaways from my day with Edward Tufte. What does it mean for our work?

Sarah Singer Quast

on 22 April 2010

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Transcript of Tufte - Lunch and Learn

Presenting Data and Information “A lot of people say know your audience, instead I think it’s know your content and respect your audience.”
-Edward Tufte Why is this a problem?
A "know your audience" approach leads to oversimplification, dumbing down, "lost resolution" Why is this important?
Decision-making without really understanding meaning can lead people to draw the wrong conclusions. Tufte's Manifesto on Powerpoint: It forces hierarchy, segregation, and dominance. This style is counter to the way people learn. How to present information in a way that respects your audience and demonstrates knowledge of content? Include Details “The quantity of detail is an issue completely separate from the difficulty of reading. Clutter and confusion are failures of design not attributes of information.”
-Tufte Integrate Evidence “The evidence doesn’t care what it is – whether word, number or image. In reasoning about substantive problems, what matters entirely is the evidence, not particular modes of evidence.”
-Tufte Give people an opportunity to think “Your audience should know beforehand what you are going to do; then they can evaluate how your verbal and visual evidence supports your argument.”
-Tufte Use design in service of data not design “Most principles of design should be greeted with some skepticism…What is to be sought in designs for the display of information is the clear portrayal of complexity. Not the complication of the simple; rather the task of the designer is to give visual access to the subtle and the difficult – that is,
the revelation of the complex.”
-Tufte The Columbia Example Cancer Rate Example Minard Example New York Times Example
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