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Edward Tufte - Essay Example

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Edward Tufte

The above describe the data integrity. In addition, Tufte also touched on data ink, whereby he claims that a clear graphical representation maximizes data ink and removes as much non-data ink as possible. He put five principles of relating to data ink, which include, show data above all else, erase non-data-ink, remove redundant data ink, maximize the data ink ratio and finally revise and edit. The unnecessary and an excessive use of effects of graphics is called chart junk, which, is one of the principals that he talks explains. He states that the worst graph is self promoting and is used to demonstrate the ability of the designer, instead of displaying the data. The density of data of a graph is the total size of the graph, which shows the data. He insists that data density and matrix should be maximized within reason (Few 2009). An example of achieving this effect is through the shrink principle, which states that most graphs can be reduced without losing the legibility of the information. Another principle of his is the small multiples whereby it is a series of small graphs that have been repeated in one visual. A well designed small multiple should be multivariate, comparative, based on a large data matrix, effectual in interpretation, shrunken and high density graphics, almost entirely drawn with data ink and narrative content that shows the relationship between variables as the index changes. Aesthetics and technique designs touch on the elegance of the graphical, which is usually found in the simplicity of design and complexity of data. It also refers to the use of tables, which work well when the representation of data needs many localized comparisons and that they are also the best way to depict numbers, though the entrants can be arranged in a semi-graphical form (Tufte 2001). Finally, a data graphic that is friendly to the user should possess the following qualities: small messages that explain the data, spelt out words and elaborate encoding avoided, words running from left to right, graphics which attract the viewer and spark curiosity, colors used make sense of the graphics, labels placed on the graphic itself, wordings are in upper and lower case and lastly the type is precise, modest and clear. The final principal that Tufte applies is that of the golden triangle whereby, if the character of the data proposes the graphic shape, then follow it, else, move towards the horizontal graphics almost half wider than the vertical (Ilinsky and Steele 2010). Tufte’s works tend to address certain issues like the problem matter (Tufte 2001). The Problem is that of putting vast amounts of information in a compact way, adequate for the purpose, accurate and easy to understand. It should be specific to show cause and effect so as to ensure that the right comparisons are made, and achieve the desired valid goals. The importance of the data is also addressed in the principles whereby, graphical and printed information are the driving force behind our lives therefore; it is not confined anymore to workers in certain areas but impacts almost everyone through the internet use and computing (Ilinsky and Steele 2010). The point to which graphics and symbols have an effect on ...Show more


Tufte Principles Name: Professor: Institution: Course: Date: Abstract In Tufte’s principles, the visual representations of data must tell the truth. He shows a range of graphs that either under or over represent the effects of data to a reader. The six principles of graphical integrity include the representation of numbers, should be proportional to the numerical quantities represented, detailed, clear and thorough labeling to be used so as to avoid the graphical ambiguity and distortion (Tufte 2001)…
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Edward Tufte Essay essay example
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