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Information Visualization: Perception for Design [Hardcover]

Colin Ware
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Information Visualization: Perception for Design Information Visualization: Perception for Design 3.5 out of 5 stars (2)
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Book Description

April 7 2004 1558608192 978-1558608191 2
Most designers know that yellow text presented against a blue background reads clearly and easily, but how many can explain why, and what really are the best ways to help others and ourselves clearly see key patterns in a bunch of data?

This book explores the art and science of why we see objects the way we do. Based on the science of perception and vision, the author presents the key principles at work for a wide range of applications--resulting in visualization of improved clarity, utility, and persuasiveness. The book offers practical guidelines that can be applied by anyone: interaction designers, graphic designers of all kinds (including web designers), data miners, and financial analysts.

*First work to use the science of perception to help serious designers and analysts optimize understanding and perception of their data visualizations.

* Major revision of this classic work, with a new chapter on visual thinking, new sections on face perception and flow visualization, and a much expanded chapter on color and color sequences.

*New to this edition is the full color treatment throughout, to better display over 400 illustrations.


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Most designers know that yellow text presented against a blue background reads clearly and easily, but how many can explain why? Information Visualization: Perception for Design explores the art and science of why we see objects the way we do.

Although more technical than most graphic design books, the book "is intended to make [the data from the science and study of visualization] available to the non-specialist." Each chapter focuses on a different facet of human vision, like "Lightness, Brightness, Contrast, and Constancy" in chapter 3, or "Static and Moving Patterns" in chapter 4.

Although the author tries to put a great deal of scientific research data into pedestrian terms, the nature of the subject matter and the papers from which he culls his information make this task an uphill battle from the start. As a result, the book is full of valuable information, but it may not necessarily be right for the average graphic designer looking for a new inspirational spin. Serious interface designers, presentation designers, data analyzers, or any artist tasked with presenting ideas in a visual format, though, should come away from Information Visualization with a clearer understanding of the inner workings of perception. At the very least, they'll be able to explain why yellow text against blue is a good combination. --Mike Caputo --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Ware's updated review of empirical researcg and interface design examples will do much to accelerate innovation and adoption of information visualization."
--Ben Shneiderman, University of Maryland

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
This is the best single volume book on the subject of information visualisation that I've read. Sure, there are other very nice books on diagrams, maps, data analysis, modelling and scientific visualisation. However, none of them have the scope of this book.
And therein lies the problem. For a single volume book Ware's effort tries to cover too much and some of the chapters are quite weak (chapter 0 and 10). Also, the fact that it was written by a psychologist shows in a good and bad way: human visual cognition is correctly the foundation upon which to build visualisation. Unfortunately the examples and the ideas for implementation are often lacking or poor in quality.
The first edition also has typesetting errors, so be sure to get the second edition.
All in all, it's still a book worth getting if you're in any serious way connected with the practise of visualisation. However, don't expect it to be the bible of the field, as such a thing does not exist (yet).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The best one volume book out there, but not perfect Oct. 5 2004
By Strategist - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is the best single volume book on the subject of information visualisation that I've read. Sure, there are other very nice books on diagrams, maps, data analysis, modelling and scientific visualisation. However, none of them have the scope of this book.
And therein lies the problem. For a single volume book Ware's effort tries to cover too much and some of the chapters are quite weak (chapter 0 and 10). Also, the fact that it was written by a psychologist shows in a good and bad way: human visual cognition is correctly the foundation upon which to build visualisation. Unfortunately the examples and the ideas for implementation are often lacking or poor in quality.
The first edition also has typesetting errors, so be sure to get the second edition.
All in all, it's still a book worth getting if you're in any serious way connected with the practise of visualisation. However, don't expect it to be the bible of the field, as such a thing does not exist (yet).
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic introduction to InfoVis Feb. 18 2008
By Michael Galloy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a basic introduction to InfoVis, covering topics from human perception to improving the decision-making processes with visualizations. It is worth having if you are in the field or are serious about improving your visualizations.

Some of the negative comments in reviews must refer to the first edition. My second edition has (some) color images as appropriate throughout the book. There are still a few errors, but not a large number. There are definitely a few low quality examples.
4.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Sept. 14 2009
By Steven H. Gutfreund - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Full of rich, deep theory about vision and visualization, with lots of practical advice. The only reason I don't give it a five stars is that there are places where he is too cursory and absract to understand (but two places out of 400 pages is pretty good for an academic).
0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Interface designers or visualizationers Feb. 28 2006
By Ray D' Ruckus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
WOW. This guy did his homework! Ware covers the basics and more advanced topics. I felt he goes beyond most books on this subject by giving his suggestions and not just stating facts.
0 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not applicable and not a suitable text book June 2 2007
By Hussein Ahmed - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The book gives sme guidleines (supported by research) but it won't be suitable for practioners but as a text book of no very good use for an information visualization course. It was tedious to have it as our text book I don't know if this is what I think or is it the actual case.
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