Most designers know that yellow text presented against a blue background reads clearly and easily, but how many can explain why? Information Visualization: Perception for Design explores the art and science of why we see objects the way we do. Although more technical than most graphic design books, the book "is intended to make [the data from the science and study of visualization] available to the non-specialist." Each chapter focuses on a different facet of human vision, like "Lightness, Brightness, Contrast, and Constancy" in chapter 3, or "Static and Moving Patterns" in chapter 4.

Although the author tries to put a great deal of scientific research data into pedestrian terms, the nature of the subject matter and the papers from which he culls his information make this task an uphill battle from the start. As a result, the book is full of valuable information, but it may not necessarily be right for the average graphic designer looking for a new inspirational spin. Serious interface designers, presentation designers, data analyzers, or any artist tasked with presenting ideas in a visual format, though, should come away from Information Visualization with a clearer understanding of the inner workings of perception. At the very least, they'll be able to explain why yellow text against blue is a good combination.

Transends the often-divergent approaches to visualization taken by individual disciplines. Proves a practical resource for those who use graphical presentation as a key to successful analysis and communications. DLC: Quality control.

This is the first book to combine a strictly scientific approach to human perception with a practical concern for the rules governing the effective visual presentation of information. Surveying the research of leading psychologists and neurophysiologists, the author isolates key principles at work in vision and perception, and from them, derives specific, effective visualization techniques, suitable for a wide range of scenarios. You can apply these principles in ways to optimize how others perceive visual information-resulting in improved clarity, utility, and persuasiveness. Likewise, you can apply them to your own exploratory data analyses to develop display strategies that make data patterns and their significance easier to discern.

Information Visualization transcends the often-divergent approaches to visualization taken by individual disciplines. It will prove a fascinating, practical resource for anyone who uses graphical presentation as a key to successful analysis and communication: graphic artists, user interface/interaction designers, financial analysts, data miners, and managers faced with information-intensive challenges.