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Visual Thinking brings the science of perception to the art of design. Designers increasingly need to present information in ways that aid their audience’s thinking process. Fortunately, results from the relatively new science of human visual perception provide valuable guidance.
In this book, Colin Ware takes what we now know about perception, cognition, and attention and transforms it into concrete advice that designers can directly apply. He demonstrates how designs can be considered as tools for cognition – 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.
Experienced professional designers and students alike will learn how to maximize the power of the information tools they design for the people who use them.
- 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
Designers of all kinds, including professionals and students 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 jobs.
The Apparatus and Process of Seeing
The Act of Perception
Implications for Design
WHAT WE CAN EASILY SEE
The Machinery of Low-Level Feature Analysis
What Stands Out = What We Can Bias for
Visual Search Strategies and Skills
Using Multiscale Structure to Design for Search
STRUCTURING TWO DIMENSIONAL SPACE
The Pattern-Processing Machinery
The Binding Problem: Features to Contours
The Generalized Contour
Interference and Selective Tuning
Patterns, Channels, and Attention
Visual Pattern Queries and the Apprehendable Chunk
Horizontal and Vertical
Pattern for Design
Examples of Pattern Queries with Common Graphical Artifacts
Semantic Pattern Mappings
The Color-Processing Machinery
Opponent Process Theory
Principles for Design
Emphasis and Highlighting
Color on Shaded Surfaces
Semantics of Color
GETTING THE INFORMATION: VISUAL SPACE AND TIME
Depth Perception and Cue Theory
The Where Pathway
Artificial Interactive Spaces
Space Traversal and Cognitive Costs
VISUAL OBJECTS, WORDS, AND MEANING
The Inferotemporal Cortex and the What Channel
Generalized Views from Patterns
Gist and Scene Perception
Visual and Verbal Working Memory
Thinking in Action: Receiving a Cup of Coffee
Elaborations and Implications for Design Novelty
Images as Symbols
Meaning and Emotion
Imagery and Desire
VISUAL AND VERBAL NARRATIVE
Visual Thinking Versus Language-Based Thinking
Comparing and Contrasting the Verbal and Written Modes
Linking Words and Images Through Diexis
PowerPoint Presentations and Pointing
Mirror Neurons: Copycat Cells
Visual Narrative: Capturing the Cognitive Thread
Cartoons and Narrative Diagrams
CREATIVE META SEEING
The Magic of the Scribble
Diagrams are Ideas Made Concrete
Requirements and Early Design
The Creative Design Loop
Visual Skill Development
THE DANCE OF MEANING
Design to Support Pattern Finding
Optimizing the Cognitive Process
Learning and the Economics of Cognition
Attention and the Cognitive Thread
- No. of pages:
- © Morgan Kaufmann 2008
- 4th April 2008
- Morgan Kaufmann
- Paperback ISBN:
- eBook ISBN:
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.
Data Visualization Research Lab, University of New Hampshire, Durham, USA
“Through a detailed analysis of the mechanics of visual cognition, this book teaches us how to see as designers, by anticipating how others will see our designs. Ware summarizes the thread of inquiry that leads through Goethe, Klee, Arnheim, Gibson and Tufte, sifting it for relevance to the artful science of visualization, and condensing it into one eminently readable volume.” –Fritz Drury, Professor of Illustration, Rhode Island School of Design
“All the clanking gears are here: variable resolution image detection, eye movements, environmental information statistics, bottom-up/top-down control structures, working memory, the nexus of meaning, and specialized brain areas and pathways. By the time he’s done, Ware has reconstructed cognitive psychology, perception, information visualization, and design into an integrated modern form. This book is scary good.” --Stuart Card, Senior Research Fellow, and manager of the User Interface Research group at the Palo Alto Research Center
"In this fascinating new book, seasoned professionals, educators and students alike will find that Colin Ware has written an incredibly accessible text that translates years of scientific research into concrete design applications. In a clear and effective manner, Ware provides a comprehensive introduction to the interrelationships among the physiological and cognitive components through which humans process and understand the visual world. This scientific perspective for graphic design provides an additional dimension for discussing the reasoning behind design choices while remaining adaptable to the shifting contexts in which these choices occur." --Paul Catanese, Assistant Professor of New Media, San Francisco State University
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