Visual Thinking for Information Design

Visual Thinking for Information Design

2nd Edition - March 26, 2021

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  • Author: Colin Ware
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128235683
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128235676

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Visual Thinking for Information Design, Second Edition brings the science of perception to the art of design. The book takes what we now know about perception, cognition and attention and transforms it into concrete advice that students and designers can directly apply. It demonstrates how designs can be considered as tools for cognition and extensions of the viewer’s brain in much the same way that a hammer is an extension of the user’s hand. The book includes hundreds of examples, many in the form of integrated text and full-color diagrams. Renamed from the first edition, Visual Thinking for Design, to more accurately reflect its focus on infographics, this timely revision has been updated throughout and includes more content on pattern perception, the addition of new material illustrating color assimilation, and a new chapter devoted to communicating ideas through images.

Key Features

  • Presents visual thinking as a complex process that can be supported in every stage using specific design techniques
  • Provides practical, task-oriented information for designers and software developers charged with design responsibilities
  • Includes hundreds of examples, many in the form of integrated text and full-color diagrams
  • Steeped in the principles of “active vision,” which views graphic designs as cognitive tools
  • Features a new chapter titled Communicating Ideas with Images that focuses on a new emerging theory of human cognition and how that theory, which deals with the construction and refinement of predictive mental models in the mind, provides a solid foundation for reasoning about what should go into a presentation


Students taking relevant courses in information design, industrial design, interaction design, and web design. Designers of all kinds, including professionals in information design, industrial design, interaction design, web design, and users of information visualization, who need practical guidance in visual and cognitive science in order to excel at their jobs, or future job

Table of Contents

  • 1. Visual queries
    2. What we can easily see
    3. Structuring two-dimensional space 2.5d
    4. Color
    5. Getting the information: visual space and time
    6. Visual objects, words, and meaning
    7. Visual and verbal narrative
    8. Creative meta seeing
    9. The dance of meaning
    10. Communicating ideas by means of images

Product details

  • No. of pages: 224
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Morgan Kaufmann 2021
  • Published: March 26, 2021
  • Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128235683
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128235676

About the Author

Colin Ware

Colin Ware is the world’s leading authority on the perceptual principles underlying the effective design of information displays. He combines interests in both basic and applied visualization research and he has advanced degrees in both computer science (MMath, Waterloo) and in the psychology of perception (PhD,Toronto). He has published over 160 articles in scientific and technical journals and at leading conferences. Many of these articles relate to the use of color, texture, motion and 3D displays in information visualization. His approach is always to combine theory with practice and his publications range from rigorously scientific contributions to the Journal of Physiology and Vision Research to applications oriented articles in ACM Transactions on Graphics and ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction. Fledermaus, the leading visualization software used in oceanography, originated in software developed by him and his graduate students.

Affiliations and Expertise

Data Visualization Research Lab, University of New Hampshire, Durham, USA

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