Cognitive Principles Assignment

Cognitive Principles Assignment                        Blog entry due by class time on Wednesday Sept. 28

Among the infographics found on David McCandless’s website find examples that demonstrate the following cognitive principles from our text:

Miller’s Magic Number, or chunking

 Weber’s Law of Just Noticeable Difference

 The Gestalt Principles of Perception

 Information Overload

 For this activity you must discuss four different infographics.  These infographics must demonstrate (or fail to demonstrate) two of the four principles listed above.  For each principle explain how your selected infographic does (or does not) demonstrate that principle.
Here is his main website:

http://www.davidmccandless.com/

 Here is a link that has a nice collection of infographics:

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/


28 Responses to "Cognitive Principles Assignment"

  • The billion dollar o’gram tries really hard to be a good example of chunking, but it falls short because of its multiplicity of datum.

    The 2012: End of the World? graphic is a bit of an information overload because of the huge amount of data it presents. Because of that, it’s a little hard to read.

    The timelines graphic — which I loved — uses Weber’s law in its colors. while slightly confusing at first, upon further gazing, the graphic opens up to its full potential.

    The Chinese censorship graphic doesn’t apply the Gestalt principle very well. The contrast between the websites and keywords should be enhanced.

    1 cmackey said this (October 2, 2011 at 8:42 pm)


  • The principle of chunking is evident in the infographic “Are You Vitamin D Deficient?”. This principle states that information retention can only go up to a certain point before a person cannot remember any more information. This infographic is short and concise, and effectively conveys the information that is being presented. There is no excessive information and the charts are also visually appealing. On the other hand, the “Government” infographic is very confusing and hard to understand. Even though it looks pretty, it has too much information and it is not as concise as the other chart. It is hard for me to take all of that information and make sense of it in my mind.
    I thought the “End of the World” inforgraphic was very interesting because although it gives a lot of information, it also organizes it so not all the information is presented at once. This is a good infographic because it tells a lot about a certain subject without overwhelming the viewer and causing information overload.

    2 mjohri said this (October 1, 2011 at 9:50 pm)


  • International number ones: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/because-every-country-is-the-best-at-something//
    As far as the information overload principle goes I believe that this graphic is effective in condensing information in an easy to understand manner. I also feel that the color coding makes it easy to find specific details depending on what you are looking for.
    Colors in culture: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/colours-in-cultures/
    I don’t think infographics does a good job of condensing information. What we see here is a true information overload. There is too much information to process effectively and too many pieces of information to process effectively.
    Vitamin D: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2010/vitamin-d/
    This exhibits Weber’s law of just noticeable difference, because the font starts out Larger and in bold and as you follow the chain down it gets smaller and lighter. This helps us evaluate where we are in the chain and also where to start.
    Kyoto: who’s on target? : http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2009/kyoto-whos-on-target/
    This infographics doesn’t support the law of just noticeable difference because while the sizes of the circles differ the font does not. And because some of the circles differ so minimally it could be helpful to have the text size vary as well.

    3 Marina said this (September 28, 2011 at 4:53 pm)


  • Looking at Mccandless’s graphic for the gender divide in the social network, he attempts to group the various sites together using the numbers he gathered to show where the greatest number of each gender lies. He shows that women tend to use the various social outlets more than men, however he fails to use the Millers Magic Number idea. While he does apply a value to the amount of stick people per website, it would be much easier if he were able to group them based on easy to read numbers and also make the difference between the male and female gender. In summary, this graphic attempts to use the Magic Number idea, however it doesn’t fully culminate in the final product. However, in the end it fails to summarize the overall information. One graphic that doe do this however is Mccandless’s graphic for the H1N1 virus. It summarizes in the end to give a clear picture of the information it was trying to present. However not using numbers, it didn’t use the Magic Number idea. Another graphic that attempts to use the Magic Number idea is graphic that deals with Terror alerts vs. Election Times. It attempts to break the numbers up into small chunks however it ultimately fails to keep everything simple. It also fails to summarize its final data, as it shows the difference in the lines and peaks, however doesn’t appear to label the axis, leaving the true meaning up to the reader. Finally, there’s the Mountains out of Molehills graphic, that shows various news articles relevance at certain times of the year. While you can visually see where the peaks stand, there is no numerical association with the peaks, or any part of the graph for that matter other than the time that all the information took place. It also leaves the summarization of the data up to the viewer, meaning there is no closure on the overall meaning of the graph.

    4 marnold said this (September 28, 2011 at 4:11 pm)


  • The first Infographic I found was on the information is beautiful website. This graphic shows what countries gave what to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti and which countries gave the most. This is a good example of Webber’s Law because as the Yellow circles size was relative to how much that country gave; the bigger the circle, the larger the amount of money. This graphic contains a sizeable amount of information, but is clear and understandable for the reader.

    The second Infographic I found was also on the information is beautiful site and was one of the graphs that McCandless discussed on his TED talk. This was the Mountains out of Molehills Graphic. It demonstrates the Gestalt principles of Similarity and Closure. The different Media scare topics are all different colors and not always connected. Using both principles, we see that the colors mean the same thing even though they are not connected.

    This third Infographic was the Drugs Word; also on the information is beautiful site. This Graphic shows Webber’s Law by using larger fonts for the titles of the circles and for the titles of the groups within the circles. This graphic however is not successful in displaying its large amount of data. It is to busy with words and it takes a lot more effort to try and decode the information it is putting out.

    For the forth graph, I used the Hierarchy of Digital Distractions. This graph is an example of chunking because the distractions are separated into seven tiers, which are further separated. It also uses Webber’s Law because the larger distractions are in larger font and the smaller distractions are in smaller font.

    5 Heather Kennedy said this (September 28, 2011 at 3:12 pm)


  • On David McCandless’s website I found four examples of infographics that follow/don’t follow the steps of Miller’s Magic Number, or chunking, Weber’s Law of Just Noticeable Difference, The Gestalt Principles of Perception, and Information Overload.

    The first infographic I found was called the Snake Oil, which explains the different types of supplements and why the are good or not. This infographic really goes with Weber’s law and Information overload because it demonstrates all different sizes of the fonts and there was a lot of information taken in order to create this infographic.

    The second infographic I found was the left vs. right government chart, which explains what side of the government you might follow. This infographic follows information overload and Webster’s because the information given in this infographic is a lot and the font sizes are different in order to show the importance of the chart.

    The third infographic I found was the Disease Case Fatality rates, which explains the different types of diseases and how fatal they can be. This infographic follows The Gestalt Principles of Perception and Miller’s Magic Number because there is a continuation as you look at the infographic and there are ten different diseases all with percentages to show how fatal they are.

    The Fourth infographic I found was the International Number Ones, which explains what each country in number one for. This infographic follows the information overload and Weber’s law because all the information had to be taken from the countries around the world and the number ones for each country is a large font to show its importance.

    6 thensley18 said this (September 28, 2011 at 12:35 pm)


  • Weber’s Law:
    A graph that represents Weber’s Law is the “Snake Oil” graph. It breaks down many different types of dietary supplements by showing a sort of heirachy style. It starts with bigger bubbles/circles and breaks these main categories down into smaller bubbles/circles.
    Gestalt Principles of Perception:
    The “Varieties of Intimate Relationship” graph is a good representation of The Gestalt Principles of Perception. The graph starts with three different categories, represented by different colors, then bunches them all together to show the “principle of proximity”. The graph also shows which circles belong in which categories by using lines, although it is possible to distinguish the groups by using just Gestalt Principles.
    Information Overload:
    The graph on international numbers shows an effective use of information overload. There is a lot of different information at first glance but as you continue on with the graph, you realize the information isn’t very well summarized. The graph would not be effective to a person who wants to quickly glance at a graph for information. You actually have to read and analyze the graph to understand what information is represented.
    Weber’s Law:
    Miller’s Magic Number can be seen in the graph, “In Deeper Water.” There are seven data circles that represent the numbers of used/spilled amounts of barreled oil. Because this principle explains how people can only remember seven small amounts of information, this infographic represent Miller’s Magic Number.

    7 Kaleb Nguyen said this (September 28, 2011 at 11:18 am)


  • McCandless’ infographic called Political Spectrum includes the following principles:
    • Weber’s law of Just Noticeable difference
    o The Political Spectrum has varied font sizes to emphasize the broader titles for the overbearing titles. As the titles become sub titles the font sizes decrease because that topic becomes under the larger font. This helps allow identify the different levels. Levels tend to be read from largest to smallest because the larger the size the more emphasis the letters have on the eye of the viewer. Larger words and letters tend to stand out and draw immediate attention. This now makes sense that the title or main point should be the largest word on the infographic. In this particular infographic the sub titles represent subjects involved in the different sides of the government that are being compared.
    • The Gestalt Principles of Perception- The Principle of Proximity
    o This infographic is symmetrical which draws a connection to similar shapes on either side. In this particular case the infographic is comparing the two sides of the government and they have the same characteristics but act in a different manner. The shapes have the same topic but differ on opposite sides. Because the sub topics on both sides have the same general shape to border the information they are easily connected and thought of as related which the subjects are; they are meant to be compared and contrasted.
    McCandless’ infographic called The Billion Dollar Gram includes the following principles:
    • Information Overload
    o This infographic contains a lot of information data which can be used to draw and unlimited amount of relationships and comparisons from the data. The data is presented in a way that seems to portray importance, amount, and the priority. This information is condensed to be able to expand at any point to continue to add to the amount of information.
    • The Gestalt Principles of Perception- The Principle of Similarity
    o All the data is presented in a square format but different sizes. The square choice has no symbolic feature regarding the data it is just a way to view the information data in an aesthetically pleasing way. All the squares are representing the amount of money spent on a certain investment in countries which are then compared to visualize how much is actually being spent by comparison.

    McCandless’ infographic called If Twitter was 100 People includes the following principles:
    • The Gestalt Principles of Perception- The Principle of Closure
    o The people that represent and amount in this infographic form a rectangle which resembles a flag in a way. It could be the Twitter flag, like the American flag which has certain qualities that represent features of the country such as the 50 stars for the 50 states. In this case the Twitter flag would consist of certain population groups.
    • Information Overload
    o This particular infographic is not loaded with data. It simply presents the activeness off people on Twitter and how active they are with their accounts. Some people are considered lazy and some dead which could be because they no longer access their accounts. They majority of people on Twitter are considered lazy. This graph allows you to compare amounts but no other relationships are able to be analyzed.
    McCandless’ infographic called Drugs World includes the following principles:
    • Information Overload
    o This infographic is very specific on giving examples of all types of drugs presented and does not allow you to assume or predict anything. This infographic is a form of a venn diagram but has arrow and lines going into the graphic to further detail and identify certain aspects. This graphic is very informative to the viewer on the relationship of drugs.
    • Weber’s Law of Just Noticeable Difference
    o The fonts create a sense of identifying levels and a direction to follow the information when reading from small to big. The larger font is on the more broad topics such as the title which describes the entire infographic and then as the graph starts breaking up drugs and analyzing what they contain and presenting their relationships the font continues to down size.

    I thought we had to turn this assignment in on paper. So I had it done just was not aware of the blog. Lauren

    8 lbraney said this (September 28, 2011 at 8:04 am)


  • 1) The Caffeine and Calories infographic is a good example of the Principle of Proximity in the Principles of Perception because the food and coffee are set up next to each other to show that they have the same amount of calories. They are also juxtaposed to an exercise to show what you would need to do to get rid of those calories. It is also an example of information overload. To understand everything that is going on, you would have to know all those types of coffee, and not everyone can manage that.

    2) The Cognitive Surplus inforgraphic is a good example of Gestalts Principles of perception. It is best described with the Principle of Similarity. Since the only difference between the graphs is the size, you know it is talking about the same subject, but different amounts. It does not break information overload. It only has two numbers so it is easy to understand and remember.

    3) The Haiti Earthquake inforgraphic is a good example of Weber’s Law of Just Noticeable differences. Most of the colors are the same, so the differences come from the size which can be different by only a little, but noticeable, bit. It also uses Miller’s Magic number because almost all of the data gets grouped into sets of 5-7.

    4)The Snake Oil infographic uses Miller’s magic number by dividing all of the data into groups based on the amount of evidence for each product there is. Otherwise, the graph would just be a mess trying to figure out what is worth it or not. It also has information overload. There are a lot of different products listed. Way too many to be able to remember all of it and use it in an everyday situation.

    9 Derek Anderson said this (September 28, 2011 at 12:59 am)


  • Snake oil:
    The graph snake oil is a great representation of weber’s Law. To start off it shows the different types of dietary supplements. The top of contains huge fonts and breaks down into smaller categories which use smaller fonts. It shows the hierarchy of the graph which is exactly what weber’s law is.

    The varieties of intimate relationship:
    This graph mostly represents everything that the Gestalt principles of perception stand for. It has three different categories that are all labeled and represented by different colors. Then they are all relatively bunched together which shows the principle of proximity. The design of the graph also uses lines to show which circles belong in which category, which is the principle of closure. Even without the lines, you can distinguish the groups by using the gestalt principles.

    International number ones:
    This graph shows the operations of use of the information overload. It starts off good because there is a lot of information, but as you go on it doesn’t summarize the information that well. You have to take time to read the graph. If you want to take a quick glance and be able to obtain the information, this graph would not be effective. I believe this graph is half good and half bad. I do like the color coordinated key at the bottom, but it should be at the top because people get lost in the graph first before they see the key.

    Left Vs. Right:
    This graph actually represents both Weber’s Law and Information overload. You’d use Weber’s law because both sides are totally distinguished by coloring, and then it branches down to smaller fonts as it gets more into detailed subjects. You can use information overload because there is a ton of information in this graph. Just one side is a lot, but it has both sides you have to read, and then differentiate them.

    10 cardient said this (September 27, 2011 at 11:42 pm)


  • The infograph, “Is the H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine Safe?” displays the information overload characteristic and the Principle of Pragnanz. In this infograph, the information overload is displayed by the amount of information being presented. There is a lot of research that went into making this infograph and the creator does an excellent job displaying the data making it not overwhelming for the viewer. Principle of Pragnanz is shown by the pictures used. The pictures are perceived as dominant objects, because they are very bold and capture your attention right away.

    “Disease Case Fatality” is very clear and easy to understand. This infograph uses Weber’s Law of Just Noticeable Difference and the Principle of closure. The dots that are big in this infograph are diseases that cause more deaths while the smaller dots are less fatal. This element of the infograph displays Webster’s Law of Just Noticeable Differences. Principle of Closure is displayed by the positioning of the dots. The dots go from big to small and are in a diagonal line. If the dots were scattered all over the place and were not positioned by size this infograph would be more confusing.

    The infograph “If Twitter was 100 people” uses the principle of similarity and Miller’s magic number. This infograph uses the principle of similarity because the people are categorized by the different types of twitter “users”. People who are “lazy twitter user’s” are grouped together for example. This infograph also displays Miller’s magic number because the data presented is suppose to be remembered in “chunks”. Miller’s Magic Number uses small amounts of data that are suppose to be easily absorbed. This infograph has only 5 elements to remember (dead twitter users, lazy twitter users, loud mouth twitter users, people with less than 100 followers, and people who don’t use twitter). Because of this, the data is easy to remember.

    The infograph “Timelines: Time travel in popular film and t.v.” displays both information overload and Principle of Similarity. This infograph in my opinion displays information overload in a negative way. I felt that there was to much information be displayed/abosorbed and that this infograph was hard to read. This infograph however displayed Principle of Similarity very well. the different colored lines represent methods of time travel used in film and t.v. By doing this, it was easy to tell which films and t.v. shows time traveled in similar ways.

    11 Nicholas Kent said this (September 27, 2011 at 11:40 pm)


  • The infographic “The Varieties of Intimate Relationships” contains Weber’s Law of just noticeable difference. This shows this law because the major categories are printed in larger font. Then as you move down the graph to the sub categories the font sizes gradually get smaller and smaller. This change in font makes it easier to distinguish between which are the bigger categories and which are smaller ones.

    The Gestalt Principle of Perception the Principle of Similarity relates to the infographic “If Twitter was 100 people”. In this graph there is 100 mini people who are grouped into the different categories that are labled and each of them are labeled in a different color. Our minds automatically perceptually and cognitively group these things together based on their color differences and grouping together. This makes it much easier to see immediately what the graph is trying to show. It also gives you a good representation of how each of the groups compare to each other in a very simple manner.

    A good example of an infographic that displays information overload is “Left vs Right World Edition”. This infographic displays a lot of information about the two government parties. Though it may take time to go through and look at each part of it and compare it to the other side, I do believe that is successfully shows the differences and makes the two sides identical in where the information is placed for easy comparisons. It contains huge amounts of information once one has fully committed themselves to analyzing the differences and what the graph has to say.Though information overload can hinder a graph as well. An example of an infographic that suffers from information overload would be “Colours In Cultures”. This graph is a bad representation because it is very difficult to understand and make observations about. You must be continually referring back to both of the keys to understand anything about this graph at all. I thought that it was way to complex and had too much information for it to be displayed in this type of infographic.

    12 awitmer said this (September 27, 2011 at 11:11 pm)


  • The info graphic titled “Snake Oil?” is a clear demonstration of Weber’s Law of Just Noticeable Difference. The graphic demonstrates this principle because its usage of font sizes, bubble sizes, and colors all help indicate the different levels or hierarchy involved with health benefit from the oral consumption of dietary supplements. The info graphic titled “The Billion Dollar Gram” is a clear demonstration of Information Overload. This graph is completely effective in summarizing the actual amount of information presented to us. It is putting this insanely large amount of data, into a more clearly visual understanding. We can easily compare all of the spending in this graph despite the large numbers and many topics. Could you imagine looking at this time of information in any other way? Again the info graphic “The Hierarchy of Digital Distractions” is a demonstration of the Weber’s Law of Just Noticeable Difference. As it is stated in the title this graphic uses a hierarchal pyramid to help display the different levels of digital distractions that people deal with. The info graphic titled “Colours in Culture” is an example of information overload in a negative way. This graph wasn’t successful in summarizing the amount of information; it was just kind of thrown together. It really didn’t use any of the cognitive principles resulting in its difficulty in interpreting.

    13 sbarlow12 said this (September 27, 2011 at 11:09 pm)


  • David McCandles’s “The Varieties of Intimate Relationship” graph is a visual representation of how people interact intimately, and is a good example of the chunking principle because all of the data collected is grouped with other data that has similar quality and then all the data is combined to form a whole “big picture” of graphical information. McCandles’s “What Does China Censor Online” graph exhibits the Gestalt Principle of Perception because some of the information form the shape of China and it is up to the reader of the graph to recognize it. The “When Sea Levels Attack” graph is a good example of the Weber Law because it is comparative, and the data for each city is constant you are able to notice the difference between other cities. The “Colours In Culture” is very clustered and is a good example of information overload because it’s hard to for the reader to tell what they are looking at, and all “find-it-yourself” numbers make it hard to visualize all the information.

    14 Claudia Autore said this (September 27, 2011 at 10:55 pm)


  • “Countdown to the Emmys is a great graph for millers magic number. Each number follows a sequnce from the number before it which is 7 plus or minus 2. You can easily make these comparisons by just reading the graph and it easily clicks in your head. The Hierarchy of Didital Distractions fit webers law because the skype is very distracting. The graph really can distract you especially if you didnt know what it was saying. The billion dollar gram because it shows a bunch information that really isnt needed for your knowledge. It can really mislead you in all the information that is there not knowing realative numbers. Kyoto: Who’s on Target fits Gesalts Principles of Perception. The circles are well demonstrated and it isnt very confusing. This is truly a good infographic.

    15 dberman said this (September 27, 2011 at 10:31 pm)


  • The Hierarchy of Digital Distractions is represented by the Weber’s Law of Just Noticeable Difference. This infographic falls under this principle because the examples of distractions are listed in a pyramid showing what different levels of distractions are most noticeable, such as the iPhone or twitter. With the use of the iPhone, a user can skype, use twitter and other social sites all at one small mobile device allowing the user to multitask.
    The infographic “If Twitter was 100 People” would fall under the principle of similarity because it follows this rule as the grouped data presented is illustrating multiple images of the little people, but can be easily identified by the color of the people making it easy to comprehend.
    Miller’s Magic Number or the number 7 is incorporated successfully into the infographic “In Deeper Water.” There are seven data circles that illustrate the estimates of numbers of used and spilled amounts of barreled oil. Because this principle explains that people are most likely to remember only seven chunks (or small amounts) of information, this infographic is a perfect example of Miller’s Magic Number.
    The Left Vs. Right World is a perfect example of an Information Overload because the infographic has so much data illustrated, that it’s just too much information for a reader to look at and simply comprehend. It was not successful in summarizing the data unless a reader were to sit down and study the given information which could take a long amount of time to fully understand all the data. It compares the Conservative vs. Liberal views of government from what is presented towards the audience.

    -Kevin Le

    16 devangel426 said this (September 27, 2011 at 10:21 pm)


  • Miller’s Magic Number is used in “In Deeper Water”. The graphic is split into seven sections, which is the amount most people tend to remember. The same graphic also displays Webster’s Law of Just Noticeable Difference. The adjacent circles are not quite the same size, and relate to their relative quantities. The viewer can easily compare the circles to each other without needing to read the text that is inside of them.

    Gestalt Principles of Perception are used in “If Twitter was 100 People…” successfully. The groups are split in obvious ways (except maybe if the viewer is colorblind) and is easy to read even from far away.

    Information overload is a problem in “Because Every Country Is The Best At Something”, but there isn’t really a better way to display that information in a visually appealing manner – a list would work, but it doesn’t draw attention like a map does.

    17 Alex Lindeman said this (September 27, 2011 at 9:55 pm)


  • Miller’s Magic Number is a cognitive principle that says that it is easier for the human mind to remember larger amounts of information if you look at it in “chunks” of 7, and then plus or minus two. A good example of Miller’s Magic Number in one of David McCandless’s works is “Disease Case Fatality Rates”. This infographic is very simple and easy to understand. It allows the reader to gather the information in one big “chunk”, so it is easy to remember and learn from.

    Weber’s Law of Just Noticeable Difference is an important cognitive principle in infographics because it allows the viewer to understand the difference when two things are compared. A perfect example of this principle is David McCandless’s “The Billion Dollar Gram”. It is a graph of numerous squares of all different sizes that represent the spendings of the United States. The biggest box is labeled as the “Worst Case” total cost of the financial crisis to the US government. Within that huge box is a smaller box that is labeled the ‘total cost of financial crisis to the US government in August 2009.’ It shows how drastically worse the crisis has gotten since the year 2009. This whole inforgraphic is a good example of Weber’s Law because of all the various sizes of the boxes representing the amount of money.

    Gestalt’s Principle of Preception says that humans understand information as a whole, rather than just the parts of it. An example of McCandless’s work that is an example of Gastalt’s Principle would be “Timelines”. This ingofraphic shows the timeline in popularity of recent movies that have come out. If you look at the infographic in different parts, it’s extrememly difficult to understand and the viewer may be confused at what they’re looking at. But as a whole, the graph makes perfect sense if you look at it logically. It is a creative way to display movie popularity, and by using Gestalt’s Principle, it is simple to comprehend.

    The final cognitive principle in infogrpahics is called information overload. Information overload, or sometimes referred to as “map shock” is when there is a overwhelming amount of data for the viewer to try and understand. An example of this priniciple is shown in McCandless’s “Left vs. Right (World).” This infogrpahic displays a ton of information and would take an extremely long time for the reader to go through and understand. I find this infogrpahic too cluttered and would try to avoid graphs that have information overload.

    18 Callie Wysor said this (September 27, 2011 at 9:26 pm)


  • The info-graphic titled “If Twitter was 100 People” demonstrates the Gestalt Principles of Perception. More specifically the info-graphic shows characteristics of the Principle of Similarity. The Principles of Similarity states, when objects which share similar attributes are perceptually and cognitively grouped together. In the Twitter info-graphic the people are color coded to separate them into the different groups, which is a prime example of the Principle of Similarity. This info-graphic was a solid graph that was very simple and did not create information overload. The purpose of the graph is easy to understand because the graph was only split into four different groups all distinguished by a different color.
    The “Google Box” info-graphic like the “Twitter” info-graphic does not create information overload. Google Box compares the 200 million hours a year spent by American adults watching T.V to the 100 million hours it was taken to create Wikipedia. A proportional box is used to show the two next to each other and the T.V. box absolutely dwarfs the Wikipedia box. However the “Google Box” does not follow the Principle of Perception. Both boxes are the same color and next to each other but they do not represent the same thing.
    The “Fatal Infection” info-graphic does not follow Weber’s Law of Just Noticeable Differences because all of the font sizes used to say which disease the circle represents and how many people died are all the same. The graph also does not suffer from system overload, it is very simple and clear that each colored circle represents a disease and the size of the circle represents how many people have died as a result of the disease.
    The “Colors in Cultures” info-graphic definitely suffers from information overload. The graph has way too many emotions and the way the graph is set up you have to constantly look at the key to understand what it’s actually saying. Overall it just takes too much time to read and makes it very difficult to actually compare what the differences are between the cultures. The graph also does not follow Weber’s Law of Just Noticeable Differences because all of the font sizes are the same.

    19 Tyler Back said this (September 27, 2011 at 9:23 pm)


  • The Snake Oil graph is a wonderful example of Weber’s law of Just Noticeable Difference. The more frequently a topic was mentioned, the larger the text in the bubbles. Displayed like this, the graph becomes very easy to interpret. At a single glance, we can see which remedies are most popular, compared to the ones with the most scientific support. An easy to understand, informative infographic that utilizes Weber’s Law perfectly.

    http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/play/snake-oil-supplements/

    The “Every Country is Best at Something” graph is, however, a terrible example of Weber’s law. The fonts are all the same size, and frankly are dizzying to look at. The graph may be informative, but it lacks accessibility. If I saw this in a magazine, odds are I would skip over it; it just seems like to much effort. If Weber’s law had been employed, even to just a minor extent, the graph may have been a little easier to stomach. It just needs something to break up the cluttered block of labels.

    http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/because-every-country-is-the-best-at-something/

    The graph “Plenty More Fish in the Sea?” is a prime example of the lack of Information Overload. The graph is straightforward, concise, and readily understandable. While the graph is anything but visually attractive, it is certainly clear in its message and a prime example of this Cognitive Principle.

    http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/plenty-more-fish-in-the-sea/

    The “Left v. Right (U.S.)”, on the other hand, is abysmally overloaded. I can’t even begin to look at this graph, it just hurts my head! In my opinion, the graph isn’t even visually pleasing! The whole thing is just too busy, too cluttered, and too full. I suppose he did a good job fitting all this information into a single graph, but I feel that having it all crushed in there is worse than leaving bits out, personally. In any case, there certainly is an excessive amount of information packed into this graph.

    http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/left-vs-right-us/

    20 caliban said this (September 27, 2011 at 8:59 pm)


  • The principle of similarity under Gestalt principles is easily identified in the info graphic “If Twitter was 100 People.” It follows this rule because the grouped data is showing many different images of little people, but can be easily identified by the color of the people making it simple to understand.
    The Hierarchy of Digital Distractions is represented by the Weber’s Law of Just Noticeable Difference. It is this principle because the distractions are listed in a pyramid showing what different levels are the most distracting such as Skype. It says Skype calls are one more notch up than a Skype message because it implies that call is a bigger distraction than just a simple message.
    The Left Vs. Right World is a demonstration of an Information Overload. It has so much data that is just overwhelming to look at and simply understand. It was not successful in summarizing the data unless you were to study it for multiple hours to figure out and understand. It compares the conservative vs. liberal views of government from what is implied.
    The Billion Dollar Gram is a representative of the information overload. There is a lot of information here in this graphic but put into simpler terms or simple color coded squares. The graph represents data of how many billions of dollars are spent and color coded and sized differently to explain the data. It demonstrates this principle well so people can understand how many billions of dollars are spent.

    21 jono31 said this (September 27, 2011 at 7:14 pm)


  • Graph #1- “Horoscoped”:

    This graph makes good use of the Weber’s Law of Just Noticeable Difference because there are notable differences in both size and colors that portray the information on this graph. This in turn makes the data of the words that are most commonly used to describe people that are born in each month stand out, creating a connection that ultimately the descriptions created for each month are generalized.

    Graph #2- “The Varieties of Intimate Relationship”:

    This graph displays Gestalt’s Principle of Proximity, because the graph is visually designed by grouping together the information with colors, lines that connect everything together, and by placing the information itself close to what it relates to. In this case the different aspects in the 3 different types of intimate relationships are placed close to each other like so: the things that go together with celibacy are all placed in the left of the infograph, the things that relate to non-monogamy are in the center, and the things that relate to monogamy are all placed to the right side of the infograph.

    Graph #3- “International Number Ones”:

    For me, this graph fails to demonstrate Weber’s Law of Just Noticeable Differences, because although the words are categorized in different colors, there is so much packed into this graph and the letters are not very different in size. The idea that every country stands out in something is clearly grasped, but a person cannot tell with a quick glance what is each country better at. The audience needs to take some time to really analyze the graph and take in the details.

    Graph #4- “Colours In Cultures”:

    To me, this graph does not make a good use of the Gestalt’s Principle of Proximity, because even though the graph is visually appealing, it is hard to group what colors represent what in each of the countries in the key. Even with the key, I cannot visually keep track of what colors represent what things due to how the information was placed. I have to keep looking at the key each time I look at the infograph.

    22 Ileana Perez said this (September 27, 2011 at 6:19 pm)


  • Well starting off with the If Twitter was 100 People infographic, I think falls under the The Gestalt Principles of Perception. I think specifically when the book talks about principle of similarity because in that sense all the people are the same just what separates them apart is the color of the group. Another one I believe that also falls under the The Gestalt Principles of Perception is the Fatal Infection infographic. It seems to me that it basically groups the larger circles on the left and smaller circles on the right showing more fatal infection to less fatal infection rates. Now taking Information Overload, one infographic that seems that fits but fails to demonstrate is the Left vs Right (World). It seems that one could analyze with time, but there seems to be so much stuff going on within. Lastly, another one that probably falls under the Information Overload is the 2012: End Of The World?. There is a whole lot of information explained but this particular one seems easier to follow than the one I mentioned earlier.

    23 kwilfong said this (September 27, 2011 at 4:48 pm)


  • The infographic titled “Snake oil?” is good graph that demonstrate Weber’s Law of Just Noticeable Differences.It displays scientific evidence for various dietary supplements. The larger the circle is, the more evidence there is supporting it, while the smaller sized cirlces rpresent supplements with less evidence. The graph named “2012:End of the World” is an example of information overload. There is an unbelievable amount of information explained in this infographic, yet it is easy to follow and to understand. On the other hand, “International Number Ones” displays information overload, yet provides no clear statistics to compare to. It shows what different countries are best at, but that information is usleless if there is no comparison or true support behind it. The “Swine flu Latest” is a good example of Miller’s Magic Number or chunking. It shows the top six countries with lab confirmed cases of swine flu, along with the top six countries of various other categories, such as fatality rate. By chunking, one doesn’t receive an overwhelming amount of information to process.

    24 bgeorge said this (September 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm)


  • Miller’s Magic Number principle is incorporated in David Mccandless “In Deeper Water” infographic. This infographic compares the estimated barrels of oil spilled in separate occasions into two groups of three with an outcome circle at the end. These comparisons total seven which is Miller’s magic number plus or minus two.
    Webster’s Law of Just Noticeable Difference is shown in the “Global Emissions” infographic by the noticeable difference in the sizes of the circles of each countries increase or decrease in emissions from the years 2006 to 2007.
    Several of the Gestalt Principles of Perception are represented in David Mccandless “High Society” infographic. He compiled drug data from all over the world to make seven world graphs highlighting the most popular countries usage for each drug represented. The top eight countries that use each drug the most are highlighted on each world map. These maps show the Principle of Similarity stating that objects, such as maps, are grouped together when they share similar attributes. The highlighted countries on each map are dominant because of their outstanding color, while the grey world map in the background is recessive. These dominant and recessive traits of the infographic represent the Principle of Pragnanz.
    I found the second graph of “The Varieties of Intimate Relationship” to be a good example of information overload because the overall infographic looked complicated, overwhelming and confusing to me. There were too many overlapping boxes and colors along with the words written inside the boxes. He should simplify this graph to make it more appealing to the viewers.

    25 kshavala said this (September 26, 2011 at 10:38 pm)


  • Miller’s Magic Number or the number 7 is not incorporated into the infographic “When Sea Levels Attack”. The graphic contains more than 7 categories on multiple axis’s. The Graphic has no clear use of the number 7 in any mannor.
    The infographic “Disease Case Fatality Rates” demonstrates Websters Law of Just Noticeable Differences because the circles demonstrating the disease rates are different sizes. That in which allows the reader to know and undersatand that there is a reason they are of different sizes.
    The Gestalt Principle of Similarity is demonstrated by the infographic “Drugs World.” There are 4 overlapping circles that represent 4 different types of drugs. And the overlapping portions also contain different drugs, but they are grouped in different sections that are connected to more than one of the 4 original groups.
    At first glance the Infographic “International number ones” has a lot of information, but in reality it is actually very compressed and easy to follow. It is more of an graphic giving you facts about different parts of the world. The whole infographic would be completely incomprehensible if it wasn’t for the sub context directly underneath the title showing more depth into what the graphic is talking about.

    Alex Richardson

    26 drichard said this (September 26, 2011 at 2:57 pm)


  • An example of an ineffective summary, thus leading to information overload would be the “Right v. Left World.” It contains a vast amount of information that is easy to follow once one has committed to analyzing the image. However, it is more than a little discouraging (and/or overwhelming) at the start. The internal organization is adequate, but a bit hectic. The infographic is certainly interesting, but provides a lot of information packed into a single image.
    One of the Gestalt Principles of Perception, the principle of similarity, is displayed by the “If Twitter was 100 people” visual. Despite the fact that the mass upon which the data is constructed is simply a repeating pattern of the same figures, the color blocking creates proportionate groups that can be easily identified.
    There are two visualizations that are successful at applying Weber’s Law of Just Noticeable Differences: “The planes or volcano?” and “Photographers Rights in the UK.” Although there is not a lot of information in the volcano visual, the emphasis is on the numerical data, as the numbers are a larger font and bolded, while their explanations appear below to clarify their meanings. Contributing to the elegance of “Photographers rights,” bolded phrases make the pocket guide an even quicker read, and emphasize key rights or restrictions.

    27 Brooke Andrews said this (September 26, 2011 at 1:12 pm)


  • Miller’s Magic Number or the number 7 is incorporated successfully into “In Deeper Water.” There are seven circles that represent the estimates of numbers of barrels of oil used and spilled. Because this cognitive principle states that people are most likely to remember only 7 chunks of information, this infographic is an accurate use of Miller’s Magic Number.

    The infographic “Haiti Earthquake: Who’s Given What?” demonstrates Websters Law of Just Noticeable Differences because the fonts decrease as the donations from countries decrease. This is to display the differences among statistics. The audience will look first at the larger fonts and then work their way down the graph.

    The Gestalt Principle of Similarity is demonstrated by the infographic “Disease Case Fatality Rates.” There are multiple circles grouped adjacently because they are meant to be grouped together. There are larger circles on the left and smaller ones on the right so that the audience can distinguish between the more fatal diseases and the less fatal diseases.

    There is a large amount of information in the infographic “Who Rules the Social Web?” but it is demonstrated in a way that is compact and easy to comprehend. There are three main categories that group the information in an organized manner with three clearly distinguishable colors. The percents and numbers on the right and the diagram of people on the left show a comparison among men and women dominating the social networks. In reality there are huge amounts of people who were taken into account, but it was successfully condensed.

    28 Mo Sunderland said this (September 26, 2011 at 1:04 pm)



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