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Week 10 Peer Critique

Richard Stegeman & Heather Hendrickson

Ranking Banks

Client: Money magazine,

Focus on presenting the data and not choosing for the people.  Let them make their own decisions.  Focus on the features of the bank to customers and not the financial part of it such as assets and NPR.  Allow people to compare the features of the bank to each other to suggest banks but not make a definite decision for readers.  Research about what bank features are important to people (overdraft fees, minimum deposits, etc.).  Keep it light in interactive features to accomplish this in 1 week.

Unit 9 Reading

The online article discusses how to make a successful infographic by not overloading it with information. It is important to know what facts to leave out and what facts to include. Something that is also important it to include artwork that won’t take away from the objective of the infographic. In the past, people have included images because they look nice but accomplish nothing. The online article says that this is a bad thing to do. He uses the examples of Francesco Muzzi and explains that this infographic uses complex images to explain complex data and it should actually be the opposite. The busy work creates an unsuccessful information graphic. I find myself constantly running into this problem of not knowing how much information is too much information to include. Often times when I’m designing an information graphic I like to think about the target audience and what questions they may have. I then try to answer all of the possible questions in one information graphic which overall becomes unsuccessful because of the business I have created. I think it’s better to focus on one objective and do it well than to try to solve many objectives at once.

This site explains what to avoid when making infographics

This site shows the dos and don’ts of infographics

Unit 8 Reading

There are certain things that should be noted about information graphics when creating them. The first thing is the visibility of the functions. If a project has buttons and you want your users to understand and interact with them easily, than they should stand out and relate to the real thing. For example, buttons only should look like buttons in the real world instead of just having text on them. The second thing to note is the feedback. If someone takes an action on an interactive site, the site should give feedback to the user. This reassures users that their actions have been recognized and processed. The next step is to think about the constraints in both design and user experience. For example, designers may disable buttons so users don’t accidentally click them. Consistency is also a key factor. This brings an infographic together by keeping things such as headers and body copy consistent. Cairo also groups the types of interactions into instruction, conversation, manipulations, and exploration. Today, as designers explore the possibilities, it would seem that one information graphic can contain multiple types. Everyone is trying to create the next big thing which is causing people to merge these different types of information graphics.


This link explains how to use interactivity effectively in Information Graphics.

This site outlines simple steps to creating effective information graphics.

Unit 7 Reading

In order to stay relevant, people need to pick up different skill sets and become jack-of-all trades. In the past, it may have been okay to specialize in one set of skills but now, with the change in technology, people need a variety of skills in the work force. Companies are pairing designers with engineers to create a better user experience on the web. Academics are also hiring more journalist to increase the public appeal that they lack. Academics are increasing the amount of research they make available to the public and this is where journalist can help. Information graphics have evolved to the point where interactivity is almost the standard. It’s also interesting to see that people can specialize in information graphics and the interactivity of it when information graphics as a whole have not been around too long. One point of view that also caught my attention was when Geoff McGhee explained that web graphics should be viewed as databases and not just narrow summaries of data. The information provided in infographics tells a story and provides useful information to users that can be stored and so it is much more than a summary.

These series of videos explain how data visualization is used by new reporters.

This explains how information graphics benefit people that use them.

Unit 6 Reading

In this chapter, Cairo compares the human mind to that of a computer. He does so by saying the hard drive of a computer is like our long term memory and the RAM is the short term memory. We can only move so many things around. If we store things in our brain like folders on a computer, I’m curious to see how many sub folders an average human would have. I would imagine that each layer of a folder is a general thought of an idea and the deeper down the sub levels you go, the more detail about a topic your brain uncovers.

The bottom-up process refers to the brain perceiving preattentive features such as shapes, edges, relative sizes, and patches of color. The brain then attempts to match this with the visual working memory to make out an image. The top-down process occurs when the brain taps into the long-term memory and works with the visual working memory to interpret a thought. Both processes meet at the visual working memory to complete a thought process. Iconic memory is a very short-term storage for visual information. The purpose of iconic memory is to keep a visualization of the world for the brain to later interpret.


Some infographics will use realistic images while others use abstract. Abstract images allow a person to focus on the thought without getting distracted by the details in an image. Realistic images are used to represent something with accuracy.

This illustration shows the bottom-up and top-down processing.

This link explains how the brain interprets things such as faces by reading features like a bar code.

Wk6 P2 Classchum Feedback

  • Rollover to show numbers and sketch more.

-Addie Chen

  • Lots of different graphs
  • Maybe put all the data on one graph instead of breaking up data by race
  • This is a hit or miss
  • 3 across
  • 6 down
  • Single scrolling page
  • Use different colors that go together and not monochrome


  • With the drawn layout, first instinct is to rollover or click on images
  • Maybe use an intro
  • Have buttons to navigate up and down the single scrolling page