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Digital Diagrams: How to Design & Present Statistical Information Effectively Paperback – Sep 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill Publications (Sept. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823015726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823015726
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 21.3 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,420,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Victoria Tarrani on 26 Sept. 2002
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent tool for presentation development of statistical information. Generally, business developers have one chance to grab a client's interest, because even the most astute executive's attention will wander while scanning a list of numbers.
Every section in Digital Diagrams is filled with symbols, charts, graphs, and diagrams; and each chapter includes pertinent information regarding the artwork within it. The most important aspect for a technical writer, design engineer, solutions provider, etc. is to show the specific details rather than tell them.
Chapter 1 -- What is a diagram? Since not all numbers are worth a diagram, it is up to the analyst to determine which datum makes sense to display, and what is the best way to show trends, discrepancies, cartography, art, and other forms of information. Illustrative Diagrams include simple icons through in-depth cross sections that are relevant to astronomy, geology, weather patterns, and business concepts. Tables and graphs are used for statistical diagrams and the various forms that can be used to chart changes. This Relational diagrams, such as ocean currents, relate to the physical world and fixed locations. Other diagrams included in this chapter are organizational interrelationships and time charts
Chapter 2 -- Making diagrams work. Information designers develop pictograms that create visual language. In a world that grows smaller through communications, internationally understood symbols, such as a skull and cross bones, speak in every language. Pictorial pieces can comprise such things as the step by step creation of an origami bird, the dissection of any organism, the effects of a volcanic eruption to the land or water masses around it, or K-2 and Mt. Kilimanjaro.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Magnus Lewan on 13 Mar. 2007
Format: Paperback
Here at amazon.co.uk there is currently only one review, and it is very positive. I do not own this book, but there are reviews at amazon.com which warn you against this book. Read them and evaluate their arguments before you purchase.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
89 of 90 people found the following review helpful
A guide for what NOT to do 2 Dec. 2003
By Nicholas Springer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As an experienced information designer I bought this book with great hope. Unfortunately what I saw appalled me. This book turns many of the principles of designing good information graphics on their head. If you have read Ed Tufte's books and appreciate his concepts of reducing "chart junk" this book will astound you in actually suggesting you dress up a graph with pretty background graphics and cute icons.
Not only does this book present questionable aesthetic values, but even promotes the creation of misleading diagrams. One example is the suggestion to just make a 90 degree turn with a bar on a bar chart if that one doesn't fit conveniently.
There are so many bad examples in this book that it is almost useful as a guide for what NOT to do when designing charts and diagrams.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Interesting but not discriminating enough 6 April 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
There are some nice example of diagramatic visualizations here. My one concern is that the authors were not discriminating enough in their choices. Mixed in with the powerful graphics are a number of chartjunk examples. In addition, in the "how to" sections a number of techniques (shading, perspective, etc.) were described without any indication that the use of these techniques actually detract from the visual integrity of the visualization.
My suggestion is to pick a copy of Tufte's "Envisioning Information" before this one. After you have read Tufte, you will be able to pick out the good from the bad in this book.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Erk! I bought it! 29 April 2005
By Peter Mullins - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Well, we all make mistakes - at least it is pretty in parts. A good guide to whether a restaurant chef can actually cook is to order an omelette simple - if it's on your table within a couple of minutes, the chef probably knows what he/she is doing. In the field of statistical graphics, finding out what the author thinks about pie charts is usually a good indicator - in this case, Mr Bounford seems to think they're a good idea, and he even thinks it's a good idea to add some chart junk, distort the information by rotation or to use fake 3D effects, use multiple colours and so on.

I guess a second indicator of quality is to check the index - has this man even read Tufte, Cleveland, Wainer? - it appears not.

This book is appalling!

If you like colouring-in with crayons, but need some guidelines, this is probably the book for you. Actually, if you are looking for new and interesting (read "brightly coloured") ways of mis-representing your data, or for transforming data into mis-information, again, this may be the book for you. Mr Bounford has invented some distortions that have not occurred to me even in my statistical nightmares!

I am, however, keeping my copy - it's a great teaching aid - on what not to do!
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
What you can do, not what you should do 21 Sept. 2002
By Michael Osborne - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A visually appealing book that shows off many digital effects and possible ways of creating digital diagrams. Whether or not you should do some of the things shown is another matter.
This book is not for the serious Information Architect - but may be useful for a designer or graphic artist.
Read Tufte and Wainer first - but then you won't find much new or useful here.
21 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Show don't tell. 12 Jun. 2002
By Victoria Tarrani - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent tool for presentation development of statistical information. Generally, business developers have one chance to grab a client's interest, because even the most astute executive's attention will wander while scanning a list of numbers.
Every section in Digital Diagrams is filled with symbols, charts, graphs, and diagrams; and each chapter includes pertinent information regarding the artwork within it. The most important aspect for a technical writer, design engineer, solutions provider, etc. is to show the specific details rather than tell them.
Chapter 1 -- What is a diagram? Since not all numbers are worth a diagram, it is up to the analyst to determine which datum makes sense to display, and what is the best way to show trends, discrepancies, cartography, art, and other forms of information. Illustrative Diagrams include simple icons through in-depth cross sections that are relevant to astronomy, geology, weather patterns, and business concepts. Tables and graphs are used for statistical diagrams and the various forms that can be used to chart changes. This Relational diagrams, such as ocean currents, relate to the physical world and fixed locations. Other diagrams included in this chapter are organizational interrelationships and time charts
Chapter 2 -- Making diagrams work. Information designers develop pictograms that create visual language. In a world that grows smaller through communications, internationally understood symbols, such as a skull and cross bones, speak in every language. Pictorial pieces can comprise such things as the step by step creation of an origami bird, the dissection of any organism, the effects of a volcanic eruption to the land or water masses around it, or K-2 and Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Chapter 3 -- The digital toolbox discusses page layout software. Many office programs such as word processors and spreadsheet have good tools built into them. However, 2-D and 3-D vectoring software provides minute control for a wide range of options. Raster painting programs enhance these designs with textures and depth. Many programs include a library of ready-made, royalty free clipart. This chapter describes the most effective way to use the tools.
Chapter 4 -- show case your work. When someone can look at a diagram and know what is being said, then it works. This chapter is filled with successful artwork.
The introduction and appendix are standard. The dictionary is well laid out and easy to read. It is an excellent reference tool.
Victoria Tarrani
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