Designing for Visual Efficiency – My FITC Toronto Talk

Yesterday I gave a talk at FITC Toronto on designing for visual efficiency. I was originally approached last fall to submit a idea and my original intention was to do a talk focused on design for information heavy graphics and recommendations on best pratices for designing them. But, based on some of the content I got to see at our VizThink conference in San Jose this February though I decided to shift and narrow the focus to designing for visual efficiency, a slightly different topic but still quite relevant to the original context.

When I say visual efficiency what I’m actually referring to is the idea of designing to reduce the amount of processing our minds have to understand what we’re looking at.Overall I think it was fairly well received, by the end of the session it was standing room only. I think I achieved my goal of sparking the idea in attendee’s heads that it’s important to think about, consider and factor HOW people see, and how to work with that process,  into their designs.

The presentation is embedded below – I’d love to hear your feedback or questions. I may also represent it at an upcoming VizThink Toronto.

Suggested Reading and links to the imagery used in the presentation can be found on my FITC09 page on the site.

Just one week to go until FITC Toronto!

FITC_TO09_200x120_speakerbannerBy this time next week FITC Toronto will be in full swing at the Hilton Toronto on Richmond Street. I’m personally excited just to be attending – I’ve watched FITC unfold from the sidelines over the past few years but haven’t been able to make it out before. I think their website sums it up best:

Now in its 8th year, FITC Toronto is one of the largest and longest running events of its kind in the world. With some of the most unique and engaging presenters from around the world, FITC Toronto is an information blitz of presentations, demonstrations, and panel discussions, sandwiched between our legendary FITC parties and abundant networking opportunities. Topped off with the FITC Award Show, it’s three days and nights that will leave you inspired, energized and awed.

  • Three full days and nights of events, plus one day of optional pre-festival workshops
  • Over 80 presentations and panels covering the Creative, Technical, and Business aspects of Flash and digital media
  • Over 1000 attendees from around the globe
  • Over 70 internationally renowned design and technology presenters
  • Includes the annual FITC Design and Technology Awards Show
  • Includes the ‘FITC Get a Job’ event on Saturday, April 25, a free-to-attend job fair for the Interactive industry

Catch my Session at FITC!
I’ll be doing the following session at FITC on the Monday Tuesday morning:

Exciting Data: Effective Design for Information Heavy Graphics

Every designer’s nightmare is getting handed a pile of data and being asked to “make it pretty”. In this session we’ll look at techniques for depicting data or other information in an effective & visually appealing way. We’ll examine the fundamental dos & don’ts of information display and also look at examples of innovative information design. Participants will walk away from this session with a solid starting point for creating powerful designs when faced with data-heavy content.

Save on Registration!
FITC’s have sold out in the past and you don’t want to miss out on this event- click here to register.

BONUS: If you use the discount code “vizthink” you’ll save 20% off the cost of registration

Hope to see you out at FITC Toronto!

Why Go to VizThink 2009?

VizThink 2009 is quickly approaching (46 days to be exact) and things are really starting to heat up – we’re nailing down the final sessions & facilitators and just yesterday we announced the pre-conference workshop with Karl Gude, former graphics editor for Newsweek & the Associated Press.

Just for kicks I threw together a little “Why go to VizThink” video to hopefully convince a few of the fence sitters out there to come and join us in San Jose!

Of course I can be accused of being biased but the VizThink conferences are truly unique experiences and an absolute blast. The variety of people & backgrounds makes for some really interesting conversations and the content is always engaging and useful – One of the biggest complaints from last year was that people had difficulty choosing between all the sessions! I’m glad to say that the “problem” will probably be even worse this year – but we’ve got some ideas to help give people the opportunity to see more…

So come on down and join us in San Jose, Feb 22-25, 2009 – go to http://vizthink.com/vizthink2009 for more details and to register.

As an added bonus: If you register before Jan 15th use the code DCRC01 and you’ll get $100 off the regular attendee rate as well!

Catch me at FITC Toronto, VizThink San Jose in 2009…

I’ll be speaking/facilitating at the following conferences (so far) in 2009:

VizThink 2009 – San Jose, CA | Feb 22-25, 2009
The first one is pretty obvious (seeing as it’s my job and all) – February 22-25, 2009 I’ll be at VizThink 2009 in San Jose, CA for our North American conference. I don’t what exactly I’ll be doing there yet but I’ll certainly be involved and will probably end up facilitating some component of one of the general sessions. We’ve also got some other interesting format ideas percolating – I’ll share as they firm up/get decided.

Early registration for VizThink 2009 is on until November 30 – so if you’re thinking about coming it’s worth signing up sooner rather than later. It’s shaping up to be a great show, some crowd favorites are back (with new sessions/content) including Nancy Duarte, Dave Gray, Bob Horn and Dan Roam and we’ve got a whole host of new facilitators that will be announced in the coming weeks (like Indexed‘s Jessica Hagy – but you didn’t hear that from me ;) ).

FITC Toronto – Toronto, ON | April 26-28, 2009
I’ll also be speaking at FITC Toronto next year. You can see my session description here. Basically I’ll be laying out some fundamentals for designing data for presentation. The goal is to have participants walk away from this session with a solid starting point for creating powerful designs when faced with data-heavy content.

FITC’s super early-bird registration expires on December 1 and their early bird registration expires on February 1, 2009.

Other Events/Opportunities
I’m proactively working on getting a few other engagements together for 2009 – if you’re running a show/conference and looking to add some sessions with a little more visual focus by all means drop me an email to rcoleman (at) vizthink.com

There will also be a VizThink panel at SXSWi this year – Tom Crawford (VizThink CEO) will be on it with some other familiar faces from the visual communication issue. I’m twisting Tom’s arm to get myself down there so I can at least see it but either way, if you’re in Austin for the event be sure to check it out!

– Ryan

VizThink Toronto 8 – Next Tuesday!

It’s that time again, VizThink Toronto 8 will be taking place next Tuesday, September 16, 2008 @ 6:30pm.

I’m still sorting out venue details, but it’ll be in the downtown core… Dan Rose, who many of you know, will be facilitating a session inspired by some of the ideas in Dan Roam’s “Back of the Napkin”.

Dan’s a really experienced, and gifted, facilitator so it promises to be a really great evening. Come on out an join us! Details & registration can be found at http://wiki.vizthink.com/vizthinktoronto8

OTHER CITIES
Not in Toronto? September is our busiest month ever for VizThink community events – there are also events in Austin, London (England), Amsterdam, Madrid & Seattle this month. For details about these, and future, events check out this post on the VizThink blog.