Synopses & Reviews
The world is increasingly full of visually presented information in the form of maps, charts, diagrams, advertisements, movies, and web pages. New scientific disciplines, such as bioinformatics, often spawn dozens of new charting methods to cope with the explosive growth of new information. Stock market analysts use a wide range of charts and diagrams. Geographical Information Systems present information in graphical form to oceanographers and biologists, town planners and environmentalists. All these applications are visual thinking tools for helping people to come to grips with their data. Because the visual system is such a superb pattern finding engine, a visual display is often the best way of transmitting complex data to the human brain. Graphic displays literally help people think better. The act of discovery is in many cases synonymous with finding a pattern in the data.
This book, grounded in the current science of human perception, is key to helping the creators of visual systems do their best work. The book is designed for designers, and has an emphasis on visual thinking as a process. It includes hundreds of illustrative examples and is very task-oriented, with how-to information and visual tasks, which complements the visual thinking process.
* grounded in current science of human perception???including the newest research in cognition and attention, this book teaches designers about visual thinking as a process, to enable designers to use tools that help themselves and their audiences think better.
* task-oriented, with practical how-to info for the designer???or the developer who needs to think like one.
* hundreds of illustrations and examplesthroughout, with full color production.
“Through a detailed analysis of the mechanics of visual cognition, this book teaches us how to see as designers, by anticipating how others will see our designs. Ware summarizes the thread of inquiry that leads through Goethe, Klee, Arnheim, Gibson and Tufte, sifting it for relevance to the artful science of visualization, and condensing it into one eminently readable volume.” – Fritz Drury, Professor of Illustration, Rhode Island School of Design
“All the clanking gears are here: variable resolution image detection, eye movements, environmental information statistics, bottom-up/top-down control structures, working memory, the nexus of meaning, and specialized brain areas and pathways. By the time he’s done, Ware has reconstructed cognitive psychology, perception, information visualization, and design into an integrated modern form. This book is scary good.” - Stuart Card, Senior Research Fellow, and manager of the User Interface Research group at the Palo Alto Research Center
"In this fascinating new book, seasoned professionals, educators and students alike will find that Colin Ware has written an incredibly accessible text that translates years of scientific research into concrete design applications. In a clear and effective manner, Ware provides a comprehensive introduction to the interrelationships among the physiological and cognitive components through which humans process and understand the visual world. This scientific perspective for graphic design provides an additional dimension for discussing the reasoning behind design choices while remaining adaptable to the shifting contexts in which these choices occur." -Paul Catanese. Assistant Professor of New Media, San Francisco State University
Increasingly, designers need to present information in ways that aid their audience’s thinking process. Fortunately, results from the relatively new science of human visual perception provide valuable guidance.
In Visual Thinking for Design, Colin Ware takes what we now know about perception, cognition, and attention and transforms it into concrete advice that designers can directly apply. He demonstrates how designs can be considered as tools for cognition - extensions of the viewer’s brain in much the same way that a hammer is an extension of the user’s hand.
Experienced professional designers and students alike will learn how to maximize the power of the information tools they design for the people who use them.
• Presents visual thinking as a complex process that can be supported in every stage using specific design techniques.
• Provides practical, task-oriented information for designers and software developers charged with design responsibilities.
• Includes hundreds of examples, many in the form of integrated text and full-color diagrams.
• Steeped in the principles of “active vision,” which views graphic designs as cognitive tools.
Presenting visual thinking as a complex process that can be supported in every stage using specific design techniques, this text provides practical, task-oriented information for designers and software developers charged with design responsibilities.
About the Author
The author takes the "visual" in visualization very seriously. Colin Ware
has advanced degrees in both computer science (MMath, Waterloo) and the psychology of perception (Ph.D., Toronto). He has published over a hundred articles in scientific and technical journals and at leading conferences, many of which relate to the use of color, texture, motion, and 3D in information visualization. In addition to his research, Professor Ware also builds useful visualization software systems. He has been involved in developing 3D interactive visualization systems for ocean mapping for over twelve years, and he directed the development of the NestedVision3D system for visualizing very large networks of information. Both of these projects led to commercial spin-offs. Professor. Ware recently moved from the University of New Brunswick in Canada to direct the Data Visualization Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire.
Data Visualization Research Lab, University of New Hampshire, Durham, USA
Table of Contents
WHAT WE CAN EASILY SEE
STRUCTURING TWO DIMENSIONAL SPACE
GETTING THE INFORMATION: VISUAL SPACE AND TIME
VISUAL OBJECTS, WORDS, AND MEANING
VISUAL AND VERBAL NARRATIVE
CREATIVE META SEEING
THE DANCE OF MEANING