How humans perceive graphics

As I sit at the Hong Kong airport awaiting my flight to Italy, I saw this article on Medium, a popular publishing platform. It’s by a visual journalist at The Washington Post, and it relates to the data visualization work we did this past week:

39 studies about human perception in 30 minutes

Among other things, the article raises a fascinating question: Is data visualization a science or a language — or both? As Kennedy Elliot writes:

I don’t think data visualization or data storytelling is prescriptive; I think there are many options and an infinite number of possible visualizations, many we haven’t even discovered yet.

But perhaps it’s not purely a language either. Obviously there are biases and distortions we bring with us when viewing graphing frameworks and objects, some of which is learned, but some of which seems inherent.

 

 


Posted by: Jeff South

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