Author: kaiser119

Understanding Beauty in Different Ways

I spend several hours on reading this article, but it’s too long and too hard for me to understand. Though there are more content covered in this paper,I want to talk the first half which I already comprehend well.

The writer want to analyze an ad which a naked beauty posted on New Yorker.  She cited three other writers work and analyzed this ad with their logic.

The first writer is William with his book The Non-Designer’s Design Book. He offers four design principles, contract, repetition, alignment and proximity to explain our feelings about this ad. He explained why does our attention draw by the woman on the ad, even special part of her body by using contrast. The lightest part of this photo is on the woman’s butt, and all other parts are too dark. Also it’s a round shape, and the shape of text block in this ad is also round shape, this repetition creates a sense of harmony.

The second writer is Arnheim, he suggest that we understand the world largely by our bodily experience. For instance, he stress that the force of gravity play a important role. We experience it every day and it can affect us potentially. Because of the gravity, we consider horizontal objects as stable and clam, and vertical shapes are more active, which give viewers a feeling of energy. That explained the pleasure when we see that straightly stand woman. Also we consider pointed shape dangerous than rounded shape, and the shape of the woman’s body is rounded.

The third writer is Bang who think the naked woman imply the image of mothers. We feel comfortable with being together with our mom and this feeling be revoked when we see this ad.

Though Wysocki argued with all of these theories, and her argue is meaningful, I still consider these different ways of understanding this ad are valuable. More understanding with these theories can be very helpful when we want to create something new. We can attract audience attention in many different ways and approach a good result by integrating them.

The example is also an ad. It’s a ad of french fries. A woman holding a cup of french fries standing in the middle. The text is read fries in a faked world. My first idea is that this advertisement use the woman’s unusual sized breast to draw audience attention and they will see the french fries nearby, and then the advertising which suggest the breast is faked and compared it with a real good french fries. Now I can see more, like they set the focus point at the middle of ad, because people prefer look at the middle and consider it as critical. Also the breast is the lightest part contract with the darker parts and shadow of body. There are some secrets hidden under this  advertisement.


My question is the value of people can vary across culture and theory, and we need make change base on it for sure. What value or principle is consistent and what is always changed?


New Media Platform

The first half of the article mainly talk about the feature of new media platform youtube and its comparison with old media channel such as CNN.

At beginning is the event that CNN and Youtube cooperatively run a online political debates among president runners of Democracy Party. The questions are selected from thousand of video public made and submitted onto youtube, and no one knows what the question is or who the questioner. Everything is unpredictable which become a challenge to most candidates. There are many questions never been issued in the previous rounds of political debates, and some are presented in a funky way, for example, a video of a snowman who asked can his son live in the future. This is a question about global warming and candidates response to it in different way.

One of the conclusion of this online political debate is, the president runners of Republican Party refuse to participate in such kind of event. And this can partially reflect how challenge it can be to those candidates.

New media platform in fact represent the grassroots culture, and its feature is public participation. Everyone can speak out instead of just listening to the voice from mainstream media. They can choose what to listen and what to talk with others. Youtube, as one of the most successful new media plat form, meet these three distinct levels, production, selection and distribution.


Above is a video which encourage people vote for Trump. The maker is a niche online media. It may holds its opinion or hired by Trump. It has 12729 views in 3 days, and there are thousand of such video on Youtube. Even political election can not ignore the power of Youtube as an important new media platform.

My question is what is the future? How conventional media and new media mix together in the future?


Guerrilla Media

Something in this article is maybe new to some peers here but as a Chinese I have to say it’s meaningful.

It’s mainly talk about the role guerrilla media played during SARS breakout in China. In the first several months Chinese goverment restrict the mainstream public media to report this by censorship. However, public still have their own ways to approach related information, which are rumors and gossip. This information has low credibility at most time but because they are the only resource most people can get, it become effective and lead to public fear and two waves of panic buying.

When goverment refuse to provide enough information or right information, and public media are silence, public mainly get information from rumors, oversea Chinese website and contesting foreign media. Rumors are come from people who has access to SARA related information, such as patients and doctor, nurse, policeman and journalist. Though these people are not allowed publish these information, they can tell them to family and friends by text or mouth-words. These information can circulate very fast in this situation.

Though some people use these rumors to benefit themselves, such as make fake information which lead people to buy some items with high price, these rumors are effective. When no official  information revealed, they play a important role.

I have a example of how rumors work in some emergency situation. After Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, there are rumors in China says seawater is polluted and salt will be affected. There was a panic buying salt at that time and finally people find these rumors are made from some salt sellers. salt.jpg

My question is what should be our attitude to rumors from text and others?

Five Case Studies

Authors analyze five cases in reading to explore what strategies and structures the makers use and how efficient they are. I understand those terms well with this great examples.

The first example is Steroids or Not, the Pursuit is On. A famous baseball player were allegations of steroid use and sports statisticians use data of other good baseball players to investigate this claim. This poster have three sections, left, right, and bottom. The image of that player is placed on left upper to get viewers attention and he points the title with both hands so people will read the title and know what the topic is at the first view. Trendlines and shaded annotation shadows are placed on the side, trendline compares this player with another two, and annotation help viewer to find where the change happens on the trendline and the its relationship to potential steroid use. There are more detailed infromation about other two players and each of these three players has his own color applied on trendlines. On the right and bottom is other related information with their line charts and bar charts. This poster have a seamless transitions between elements and sections without any dictations, visual elements are connected with arrows and shades trails, and the size of titles, images and charts changed accroding to the importance, which create a visual hierarchy of sections.

The second example is Budget Forecasts, Compared With Reality. There is a progress bar on the top and with which viewer can swtich to diffrent sections. Each section has text on the left and chart on the right, the text being altered and chart being updated while switching. This is called consistent visual platform. Viewer can also mouse over the chart to get more details-on-demand. The main structure is interactive slideshow, and it provides tacit tutorial to guide people how to use it. The consistancy of playform and updating progress bar prevent viewer from losing their place while interactine.

The third example is Afghanistan: Behind the Front Line. This one also have consistent platfrom, it’s interactive and viewer can get details-on-demand, they also use sematically consistent color encoding to help viwers understand contents. However, this example is bad if the target audience is general public, because it does not guide viewer to draw a meaningful conclusion from massive data. The data and terminology can be understandable and useful to experts but not normal people. Except using the right way to present the data and information, a guideline to viewers is critical.

The fourth example is Gapminder Human Development Trends. This one is an interactive slideshow again.The beginning is a grid of screenshots from different sections labeled by with its respective topic. This checklist structure can establish a overview of its content and navigate the viewer. Each sections contains a graph chart and the transtions are animated which help viewer to understand what happened. Every frame is interactive and there are annotations. Basically the data is not displayed all at once but step by step, and viewer have time to comprehend.

The last example is The Minnesota Employment Explorer. This example orginally mean to encourage readers to share their stories in the data which is about unemployment rate from 2000 to 2007. However, fewer people replyed and they are not even Minnesota people mostly. This example failed because it leaves viewer a bunch of data and chart without any effective guidelines, it does not provide an example of what the story should be. Most important is the graph is disconnected to the narrative. People want to share their woe during 2008 while the charts only provide the unemployment rate from 2000 to 2007.



Above is a example of narrative visualazation. There are two sections and the colors and size indicate viewer the importance of each section. The narrative is close to relevent pie graph, and the color pattern in narrative also match the color used on pie graph. This is a good example of narrative visulization.

Question:  Using size, color, shape to guide viewers, or using tacit tutorial, which one is better in what situation?

Good Data Visualization Save People From Cholera

Tufte gives me an example of how to use data visualization and what it can do.

The event is The Cholera Epidemic in London, 1854. A people who named John Snow investigated the Cholera try to find the reason of it, and no one knows that before. He got the data of 83 deaths in that event. If he found the reason with that data, he can both stop the Cholera and knowledge people how to deal with it in the future. The raw data he got is detailed and order in time. However, he can not find anything important with that.

He suspected the origin of Cholera is a Broad Street well and for testing this guess, he made a new way to visualize the data. He marked the location where people died and the nearby wells. He lost some information by presenting data this way, but it did help he to find the relationship between death and the well.

Before actually advocate for his report, he made more research and to find the mistakes in his research or anything weird in his data. By remaking the bar chat, his conclusion is more reliable.


Above is a chart of  list of movies in 2015 to show how much they earned compared to their budget and how people rate it. You can see the genre and budget size of these movies. These data are well organized and displayed on this chart and you can easily find the trend or compare something you want with this chart. We can see higher the rate is, the higher opportunity the movie earning can recover the budget. And, such as some genre are more likely spend more and some can get higher rate. A good visualization of  data can help people to dig more useful information.

Question: How to determine which way of data visualization we should use?

Should we use data visualization in any situation?

I was really busy this weekend so I only have time read one article and write post for it.

It’s the Sarah Slobin article, WHAT IF THE DATA VISUALIZATION IS ACTUALLY PEOPLE? In this article, she shared one of her real experience and talk about should we always use data visualization.

He explains that why we need data visualization at the begining of the article. We dont like uncertain, we want to have something we can count so we know where is the end. Data visualization qutify some unfamilar concepts to tangible data, so we think we can understand easier and we favor it.

However he finds that data visualization may not be the best way in all situation. It works in some case, but we cant assume that it always work. She explains the process she used before she made some data visulized. She finds the experiment and research that are related to her topic, then analize the data. She spend a lot time on learning this topic and what that data represents, and finally choose some of them to make a chart.

She meets the problem when she finally gets what she want. Her readers don’t have to read those charts, they just want a best way to understand the topic. Data is not just chart, a photograph can also represents a lot of information. chart is from data, data is from story, and the story is from person, so why don’t we use person directly?


Above is a famous photography named the Starving Sudan. Suppose we have a topic is about Sudan’s prblem, do we actually need a chart of how many people lost their home in the war? Nothing can be more impressive than this photo and I will definitely use this photo. Without any explanations the reader will know how serious it is in Sudan.

Question:What cariteria we can use to evaluate the the efficiency of the chart and the actually people things?

Animation facilitate?

There are three parts in this articles.

At the beginning, author talks about the graphic. Humans have a long history to use graphic as a important way to convey their ideas in different areas. Simple graphic can represent complex concepts. Because of the congruence principle, graphics can effectively help people understanding and learning, especially spatial related concepts. However, graphics are not always helpful, it can be distracting in some situations. Animation is a new and attractive graphic device, and by Congruence Principle “it should be natural for conveying concepts of change, just as space in graphics is a natural for converying actual space.”

Author review a lot of research and cite them in the second part. He analyzes these researchs carefully and find that animation does not help people have a better performance on understanding and learning than static graphics or textual contents. Some research results show animation outperform, but in fact these research does not compare animated and static graphic in a equivelent way. Generally, animation can carry more information than static graphics, and animation is often interactive. These two advantages help people perform better, but not animation itself. Just in a few cases, such as for people who has low spatial ability, animation can help them understanding spatial concept better. Animation takes more time sometimes, and text learner can have better result in long-term.

Why animation fail to help people understanding information? “Effective graphics should conform not only to the Congruence Principle, but also to the Apprehension Principle: the structure and content of the external representation should be readily and accurately perceived and comprehended.” Animation may be hard to perceive and may be comprehended discretely. Even static graphic can be interactive, so this can not be count as its benefits. However, animation is useful when teaching complex systems, mechanical, biological, computational.

The example is from websife of adobe tutorials. In this class I learned how to use adobe series software by watching tutotial videos made by both adobe company and some private. Animation can be useful here which matches the end of articles, says that restricted to some situations such as computational, animation can be helpful.

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My question is, as a new type of animation, can VR help people learning in more area than basic animation technology?