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.

Slightly new look….

Been tweaking the design/CSS of this site a bit – was getting tired of the old look and was finding that when I was looking at it I found the site hard to read compared to a lot of other blogs out there.

Thoughts?
Is this an improvement? See any other opportunities to make this a more appealing site? I’d love to hear your comments.

Mac Heads (esp. Safari people)
If you’re on a Mac is it displaying ok for you? Especially keen to hear if this is totally busted on Safari.

Some people keep diaries…

…this guy issues Annual Reports.


It’s the work of Nicholas Felton a designer/entrepreneur in NYC.

Just an amazing example of visual communication – worth taking 10 minutes or so and flipping through his site.

Absolutely amazing piece of work.

Found on the Adaptive Path blog (here)

New Year, New Look & a New Blog

First off, happy New Year!

New Look
It’s a New Year, so I figured might as well go with a new look. Hope you like it, please leave a comment if you’re having any display issues.

New Blog
I’ve also started a new photoblog called “Found in Focus” with all my personal favorite photos that I’ve taken – please stop by and check it out. I’m aiming to make a daily (weekdays) update on this blog with, weather & life permitting, a new photo taken that day – but I’ve got a good backlog to ensure something gets up everyday regardless.

2006 – A Look Back
If I had to distill 2006 into one theme it would have to be a year of “learning” – from both personal and business perspectives.

From a business point of view we moved from an industry I knew well and into entirely new territory. The translation & localization space is an interesting one – I’d have to liken it to an onion. There’s so many layers in terms of technologies, approaches & politics that it makes for an interesting space to learn and navigate.

Even in terms of day-to-day business experience I learned more this year then I have in a long, long, time. The shift from services to product, licensing models & theories and of course the venture capital/funding dance all go thrown into one big melting pot of a year.

On the personal front I discovered Barcamp, DemoCamp & the other *Camps that have spawned over the past 18 months or so. The people, presentations and experiences I’ve met, seen and, well experienced, since the first DemoCamp I attended have opened my eyes to a lot of things in the Web & Technology space that I just wasn’t seeing before. It’s also personally made me a better networker, motivated me to keep this blog up to date and given me the opportunity to make some great (and I hope lasting) friendships.

Organizing BarCampEarth (Toronto) was another great experience that let me work with a great group of people and also feel like I was able to contribute to the TorCamp community in some form.

I also had the opportunity to attend Dave Gray’s “Visual Thinking School” when he was here in Toronto. I blogged about it here after the event. Hard to really convey but it’s had a huge effect on how I approach things now in a lot of aspects. It’s also a big reason I’ve started my Photoblog, Dave was very big on carrying a camera with you to capture “life” & “stuff” – something I’ve started doing and the blog is a great way to share it.

Lastly 2006 was a great year for travel – we started the year on a family cruise in the Caribbean, made it to Disney World in the summer, won tickets to England in the fall and with work I had the chance to get to New York & Montreal for the first time, and also see Chicago again.

2007 – Looking Forward
Both Erin (my wife) and I are looking forward to 2007 immensely – we both have a feeling that this year is going to be nothing short of great. The theme in our household this year is “Abundance” – something I hope all of you get to experience this year in one form or another as well.

Thanks again for reading!