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kottke.org posts about Edward Tufte

Sparklines

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 01, 2004

Sparklines are “intense word-sized graphics”. From Tufte’s upcoming book, Beautiful Evidence

Evidence of Evidence

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 21, 2004

Evidence (ahem) that Tufte is indeed working on his new book, Beautiful Evidence.

The Dispassionate Statistician

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 06, 2003

Jessica Helfand takes the piss out of Edward Tufte in The Dispassionate Statistician.

The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint by Edward Tufte

posted by Jason Kottke   May 12, 2003

Edward Tufte has a new 24-page pamphlet out called The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint on how to improve your PowerPoint presentations:

In corporate and government bureaucracies, the standard method for making a presentation is to talk about a list of points organized onto slides projected up on the wall. For many years, overhead projectors lit up transparencies, and slide projectors showed high-resolution 35mm slides. Now “slideware” computer programs for presentations are nearly everywhere. Early in the 21st century, several hundred million copies of Microsoft PowerPoint were turning out trillions of slides each year.

Alas, slideware often reduces the analytical quality of presentations. In particular, the popular PowerPoint templates (ready-made designs) usually weaken verbal and spatial reasoning, and almost always corrupt statistical analysis. What is the problem with PowerPoint? And how can we improve our presentations?

I love the cover image.

Tufte on the London Tube map

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 18, 2003

Tufte on the London Tube map.

Norman on Tufte

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 12, 2003

Don Norman, author of The Design of Everyday Things, has mixed feelings about Edward Tufte:

Tufte is often wrong about what constitutes good communication. Indeed, I am surprised he likes the Napoleon map so much because it has, in his terms, superfluous chart chunk - those drawings of soldiers. This is indeed an excellent graphic, but much of his work does not have this character.

Tufte is not the only statistician who has addressed the problems of representing graphical material. In my opinion, Bertin is the best.

Tufte preaches. I entered into a discussion with him about this once and tried to present some experimental data that one of my students had collected. he refused even to look at it. That is, it isn’t that he looked at the data and disagreed with the interpretation or even the collection— that would be permissible. No, he refused even to look.

Tufte on Columbia evidence presentation

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 25, 2003

Tufte on Columbia evidence presentation: “a PowerPoint festival of bureaucratic hyper-rationalism”.

Flash, usability, and information design

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 11, 2003

Tufte et al on Flash, usability, and information design.

The pronounciation of Tufte

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 08, 2003

The pronounciation of Tufte. it’s “tuff-tee”

Edward Tufte’s thoughts on OS X

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 07, 2003

Information design hero Edward Tufte has some thoughts on Mac OS X:

The OS X interface design is distracting and self-conscious, with a marketing slickness rather the straight-forward transparent charming style of the past. It is out of tune with the superb industrial design of Apple hardware. Mac users will probably get used to it.

For my own current work (Photoshop, Illustrator, Quark with large files on large monitors), I see no particular reason to prefer the new design to 9.04. Indeed I regard 9.04 as nearly ideal (large flat-screen monitors are key; the Apple Cinema monitor is an enormous advance in design and as a working tool). Maybe when we do digital video that will make a difference in favor of OS X.

Pioneer Space Plaque Redesign by Edward Tufte

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 23, 2002

Edward Tufte, well known amongst information & Web designers for his trilogy of ID bibles, puts a bit of magic into the possibility of Earth’s first contact with aliens:

Since the principles of physics hold everywhere, magic is conceivably a cosmological entertainment, with the wonder induced by theatrical illusions appreciated by all, regardless of planetary system. Accordingly the plaque aboard the Pioneer spacecraft for extraterrestrial scrutiny billions of years from now might have escaped from its conspicuously anthropocentric gestures by showing instead the universally familiar Amazing Levitation Trick.

Who says information designers don’t have a sense of humor?

New book: Beautiful Evidence

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 26, 2001

Edward Tufte (author of three excellent books on information design) is working on a new book on cognitive art entitled “Beautiful Evidence”. Here are some copious notes from one of Tufte’s one day courses (upcoming schedule). There’s a really good bit at the end on his “principles for making presentations”…I’ll need that advice right around 8:30 this morning.

Edward Tufte on public speaking

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 08, 1999

Edward Tufte on public speaking. If you are at all interested in information and design, and you haven’t read any of Tufte’s books (1,2,3), beat thyself with the nearest truncheon.