In The News… Links of the Week

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Twitter provides me with a wealth of information on a daily basis, so I began bookmarking each week’s best news and articles.  This particular collection of good reads was so large that I divided it into two sections: 1) battles and 2) visual thinking.

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During the past few weeks, I seem to be battling with everyone around me about certain presentation and design topics.  For example, my father and I discussed “charisma” as it relates to presentation.  Of course, I believe charisma is something we develop, and my father believes charisma is something we are either born with or without.  After writing a series of blog posts on charisma in January, I was happy to read Jim Harvey’s perspective in “Can You Develop Charisma?”  Harvey explains that charisma “is not the weird, in-built blessing of myth and legend, possessed by JFK, Martin Luther King Jr. and Winston Churchill” because, by definition, charisma is “a set of skills, habits and beliefs that everyone has inside them, but few of us know how to use.  Because from the sulky teen, to the grumpy senior manager, by that definition, there’s charisma in everybody” (Source).  I wholeheartedly agree!

I was also baffled and deeply saddened when I read an article alleging infographics 1) display data that sucks; 2) dumb us down more than reality television; 3) are abysmally designed; and 4) have a tarnished reputation because of those that are unsuccessful (Source).  Because I so firmly believe in the power of data visualization, I wrote a blog post in defense of infographics.  Luckily, Ethos3 provided even more evidence of the power and importance of infographics with a single Tweet: “30 Great Examples of Data Visualization.”  The proof is truly in the infographic… And did you spot the beautiful David McCandless piece?

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Next, let’s talk about visual thinking.

Nancy Duarte’s blog features “The Visual Thinking Revolution,” and author Lisa Solomon explains the “10 significant external forces that are fueling the Visual Thinking Revolution” (Source).  Not only does this article make me feel optimistic about visual thinking, but also, “Revolution” focuses on the future… a future when most people will realize and accept that design is so powerful that it matters in all that we do.  Solomon’s article is your required reading for the week.  It is a must!

Visual thinking is important whether you’re designing a menu, designing a building, or designing a Keynote or PowerPoint presentation.  Consider “The Art of the Menu” Tweeted by the always fabulous Ethos3.  Obviously, it’s important that the design of your menu match the design of your restaurant and the design of your food.  Menus are deliberately designed to push the customer’s eye toward higher-priced items, often resulting in a higher sale.  Everything – from the color to the layout to the typography – is important in advertising food on a menu.  Also, consider Design Seeds, a website for people who love color.  My friend and former roommate Sarah Diener forwarded along this website to me and suggested I use it to develop color palettes for presentations.  Have you used Design Seeds?

What amazing reads did you stumble upon this week?  Share with me!

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