Laurian's Reviews > Envisioning Information

Envisioning Information by Edward R. Tufte
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's review
Dec 19, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: ux
Recommended for: Tom panning
Read from December 19, 2011 to January 02, 2012 — I own a copy

This is the second book that was picked for the UX book club at work.

I've only seriously read two of Tufte's books. I've skimmed the other two and his pamphlets and taking bits and pieces from them that were convenient for what I was looking for. So when Tufte was brought up in the book club I was happy to push for this one that I hadn't had a chance to read as thoroughly as I would have liked.

Information is just about the cornerstone of the work that I do. The people I design software for have more information than then really know what to do. Add to that the difficulties that the interfaces tend to be outdated, running on computers that are old, and that projects tend to be "stovepiped", and there is a critical problem in trying to get information clearly and meaningfully to my "clients".

Tufte does a great job of putting the argument for meaningful envisioning of information. He does more than explain how a difficult to read graph is harmful, but then goes on to point out how information could be displayed.

My favorite quote (which is particularly resonant with some of the issues I have when arguing my designs) is "... the operating moral premise of information design should be that our readers are alert and caring; they may be busy, eager to get on with it, but they are not stupid" (p. 34).
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