Does good design translate?

Information design: a historical perspective

25 January 2012, University of Reading

Professor Michael Twyman, University of Reading,
showed and discussed materials from the
Lettering, Printing and Graphic Design Collections. 






Films from the Isotype Institute

25 January 2012, University of Reading

Dr Christopher Burke, University of Reading, discussed the making of the films produced by the Isotype Institute in the 1940s, followed by the showing of the some of the films.

Design challenges in BrazilInteractive animation in journalistic infographics

25 January 2012, University of Reading

Dr Jose Marconi and Dr Luciane Fadel,
University of Parana discussed information
design challenges in Brazil.

New ways of making academic articles easier to read

25 January 2012, University of ReadingAlison Dyson introducing Jim Hartley

Professor Jim Hartley, University of Keele, introduced and discussed his recently published article about making academic writing easier to read.  

In this session, Prof Hartley highlighted, and discussed with us, aspects of the writing of academic articles that have particular relevance
to information design, such as tables and graphs. He also reflected on the editorial processes of academic journals and how these may affect the clarity of articles.

Hartley, J. (2012). "New ways of making
academic articles easier to read."
International Journal of Clinical & Health Psychology

12(1): 143-160.

Prof Hartley also reviewed his work, starting by identifying the major roles of applied psychologists and discussing how applied psychologists may work together with typographic designers. His summary of psychologists' contributions included:

  • providing expert knowledge and opinion about human behaviour, based on research and practice
  • offering a different perspective
  • developing and using appropriate tools to evaluate design decisions

The last point was illustrated by various examples of how the design of a research tool may affect outcomes. For example, the format of a rating scale (e.g. whether from 0 to 10 or 10 to 0) can change peoples' judgements. This emphasised the importance of collaboration between psychologists and designers, or the need to introduce more instruction on empirical methods into information design programmes (the topic of potential future research collaborations).  

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