Table of Contents
- Project Details
- Analysis of Existing Graphics
- Original Graphic to be Redesigned
- Redesigned Graphic
For this task, I needed to select three graphics which display information in different ways. I then needed to discuss the deficiencies which I identified in these images. The final portion of the assignment required me to select one of the pictures and produce an improved redesign that solved the problems raised in my analysis.
Graphics are essential in instructional design. Illustrations allow the reader to visualise tasks and make documents more engaging (Lannon and Gurak 2011; Markel 2012; Fernandes et al. 2014). As such, I believe this assignment acts as an appropriate demonstration of my ability to critically assess the quality of existing images, as well as my skill at clearly conveying information.
When I was deciding upon which images to include, I deliberately chose graphics that displayed a wide variety of problems. Image 1, a flow chart from a Junior Certificate History textbook, had inconsistent colours, a confusing layout and colour choices which made it potentially inaccessible. Image 2, a pie-chart illustrating the composition of the Irish Companies’ Register, was overly complex, did not follow design best-practices, contained unnecessary elements and omitted aspects to aid the viewer. Finally, Image 3, a representation of the Central Bank’s ratio of Non-Performing Loans against Gross Loans, broke best-practice guidelines for line-graphs, inconsistently showed data and attempted to show too much information.
I feel that my decision to include examples of errors relating to a range of graphical design concepts illustrates my understanding of what makes a graphic useful to the audience.
I elected to redesign the Companies’ Register pie-chart. To solve the faults with the original, I included data which the existing material excluded. This approach made the chart more useful and added clarity. In terms of design, I changed the dimensions of the graph to 2-D, as the existing 3-D version had distorted the information. I added a legend to aid the reader in understanding the data. In my opinion, the final product was significantly improved when compared to the source image.
Completing this work allowed me to improve my skills in image editing. I needed to take an existing image and represent its’ information in a more appropriate way for the target audience. I used various pieces of software to create different elements of the final image, including Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Paint and the open-source photo editor GIMP. The techniques I learned will be useful in future, whether it be for representing data in a piece of technical writing, or generating a graphic to outline a step in a set of instructions or E-Learning course.
Analysis of Existing Graphics
Shown below is the report containing my assessment of the problems that existed with the graphics I chose for this assignment. You also have the option to download the report directly to your computer.
Graphics Report Document
Original Graphic to be Redesigned
Here is the original version of the graphic I chose to redesign.
This is the improved graphic that I created.
Fernandes, C. A., Teixeira, J. M. and Merino, A. D. (2014) “Investigation of complexity of the instruction manuals for electrical coffeepots”, Work, 49(4), 607-617.
Lannon, J. M. and Gurak, L. J. (2011) Technical Communication, 12th ed. Boston, Massachusetts: Longman.
Markel, M. H. (2012) Technical Communication, 10th ed. Boston, Massachusetts: Bedford / St. Martin’s