When I’m asked for a good book about visualization, I usually try to change the subject. There is no book I really love, they all have their issues. But thanks to Isabel Meirelles, I can now give a straight answer: Design for Information.
I recently came across this book that claims to collect the 100 most important diagrams in the history of mankind. It’s a good collection, with many wonderful examples, though it has its flaws.
When Alberto Cairo first told me about the book he was writing, called The Functional Art, he warned me that only a small part of it was going to be about visualization. I have no idea what he was talking about, the book I read was a visualization book from start to finish. It is […]
You all know what statistics is, right? I mean, everybody knows. But if you had to explain why it’s useful, and what it’s useful for, would you have an answer? Do you know how statistics makes a difference in all our lives, all the time? Even if you (think you) do, check out Kaiser Fung’s book, Numbers Rule Your World.
The first episode of season 4 of Mad Men opens with Don Draper being interviewed by a journalist. He doesn’t tell him anything that’s of interest and then dodges the question Who is Don Draper? by claiming that he was taught as a child not to talk about himself. Scientists do an equally terrible job at communication, and for many of the same reasons. Cornelia Dean’s book Am I Making Myself Clear? offers fascinating insights into both journalism and science, and provides concrete ideas for how to do better.
Colin Ware’s latest book Visual Thinking for Design has a promising subtitle: active vision, attention, visual queries, gist, visual skills, color, narrative, design. That’s covering quite a bit of ground, and also a lot of things not usually considered in visualization. While this is a book about design, I was interested in what it could teach people in InfoVis, and I review it from that point of view.