Munzner’s summary diagram of the effectiveness of encoding channels
Visualization Analysis and Design. Tamara Munzner, with illustrations by Eamonn Maguire. A K Peters Visualization Series, CRC Press, 2014
Welcome to the first lesson of “Learning to See Data”, the Data Literacy Level 1 course! In this lesson, we’ll set ourselves up for success by covering the most critical principles of visual data. After reviewing four data scale types – nominal, ordinal, interval & ratio – we’ll learn how these different variables can be turned into the graphical marks we see on charts such as bars, lines, points and shapes. Then, we’ll see how the attributes of these marks, such as their position, size and color, can be used to encode our data to help us see what’s going on. Finally, we’ll learn how to evaluate encodings by considering the principles of expressiveness, effectiveness, and the “pop out” effect.
For your Level 1 Course Project, you’ll identify charts in your own world and you’ll learn how to look at them closely to see what they show you. You’ll learn how to evaluate them and to identify ways they could be improved to make them even more helpful to you.