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How to Present Information . Christine Robson October 25, 2007. Topics. Human Perception- Quick Review Presenting Information Visualizations. Quick Review: Human Perception. Stage Theory of Human Perception & Memory. maintenance rehearsal. Sensory Image Store. Sensory Image Store.

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how to present information

How to Present Information

Christine Robson

October 25, 2007

  • Human Perception- Quick Review
  • Presenting Information
  • Visualizations
stage theory of human perception memory
Stage Theory of Human Perception & Memory

maintenance rehearsal

Sensory Image Store

Sensory Image Store



Long Term


Long Term







  • Working Memory:
  • Small capacity
  • ~ 7 +/- 2 chunks

Long Term Memory:

  • Huge capacity

“Short Term”

  • Visual information store
  • Auditory information store
  • Pre-attentive Processing
recall vs recognition
Recall vs. Recognition

Two main ways we access memory:


  • when provided with a cue to the information in memory
  • eg. feeling of familiarity, matching, multiple. choice, True/False on exams, recognizing someone you know...


  • drawing the information from memory without (or with minimal) cues.
  • eg. coming up with the name for person you recognized, remembering what command to type, fill-in-the-blank on exams.
present information
  • Sibley Guide To Birds
  • Lots of Data
  • Many types ofInformation
  • Yet succinct
periodic table of visualization methods
Periodic Table of Visualization Methods


The interior decoration of graphics generates a lot of ink that does not tell the viewer anything new. The purpose of decoration varies – to make the graphic appear more scientific and precise, to enliven the display, to give the designer an opportunity to exercise artistic skills. Regardless of its cause, it is all non-data-ink or redundant data-ink, and it is often chartjunk.

Edward Tufte

The Visual Display of Quantitative Information.

information that matters
Informationthat matters




PPT Charts


Informationthat matters



Without the


data ink maximization
Data-Ink Maximization
  • Tufte defines two types of ink used to construct a graph:
    • data-ink - the essential non-erasable ink used to present the data
    • non-data-ink - the redundant ink used to elaborate or decorate the graph
  • The Data-Ink Ratio is defined as the percentage: (100 x Data-ink) / (Total ink used on graphic)
minard s map of napoleon s march
Minard’s Map of Napoleon's March

Map by Charles Joseph Minard portrays the losses suffered by Napoleon's army in the Russian campaign of 1812

lots of information
Lots of Information
  • Beginning at the Polish-Russian border, the thick band shows the size of the army at each position
  • The path of Napoleon's retreat from Moscow in the bitterly cold winter is depicted by the dark lower band, which is tied to temperature and time scales.
sparklines edward tufte
Sparklines Edward Tufte
  • data-intense, design-simple, word-sized graphics
  • small, high resolution graphics embedded in a context of words, numbers, images
networks of relationships from the web
Networks of relationshipsfrom the web

OPEC Ministers and Large Companies

web topics relating to autos
Web topics relating to autos

Honda and Toyota are the most frequently discussed

Honda: fuel economy

GM: New models and future plans

HEV’s and SUV’s: Ford

visualizing network traffic
Visualizing Network Traffic


  • web-based enterprise search management platform
  • leverages the power of federated content access and visualization to maximize the value of information assets for enterprises, content publishers, libraries and other research-intensive organizations
        • From
gap minder google
Gap Minder (Google)
  • Hans Rosling’s 2007 TED Talk
  • Software to visualise human development
  • Non-profit venture

facebook causes app guest lecture nov 6th
Facebook Causes AppGuest Lecture Nov 6th

Sean Parker

  • Chairman of Project Agape
  • Managing Partner at The Founders Fund
  • Co-founder of Napster, Plaxo, and Facebook

Joe Green

  • CEO & co-founder of Project Agape
  • founder and former CEO of

Chris Chan

  • Facebook Causes Application Product Manager
  • Designer and Product Manager at 
  • “Olympic Message System” for Tuesday, in Google Group
  • Chapters from Tufte up on the Google Group
exams back
Exams Back
  • If you’d like us to explain your score on a question, set up a meeting (email us)
    • Question 1,2,4,6: Christine
    • Question 3,5: John
  • Our policy on disputed grades is to re-grade your entire exam
grade summary
Grade Summary
  • Summary page of all your grades
  • Please check for discrepancies