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Perceptual RULES


Perceptual rules help to clearly relay content by using an appropriate visual design. They comprise the second part of the IBCS Standards with the SUCCESS rule sets EXPRESS, CHECK, CONDENSE, and SIMPLIFY, based on the work of authors such as William Playfair[1], Willard Cope Brinton[2], Gene Zelazny[3], Edward Tufte[4], and Stephen Few[5]. All of these rules owe wide acceptance to their scientific, experimental, and/or practical experience basis.


EXPRESS  Choose proper visualization

EXPRESS covers all aspects of choosing the proper visualization in reports and presentations.
Proper visualization means that reports and presentations contain charts and tables, which convey the desired message along with the underlying facts as quickly as possible.

This chapter covers utilizing the correct types of charts and tables, replacing inappropriate visualizations and representations, adding comparisons, and explaining causes. More...


SIMPLIFY  Avoid clutter

SIMPLIFY covers all aspects of avoiding clutter in reports and presentations.
Avoiding clutter means that reports and presentations avoid all components and characteristics, which are too complicated, redundant, distracting or merely decorative.

This chapter covers avoiding unnecessary and decorative components and replacing them with cleaner layouts, avoiding redundancies and distracting details. More...


CONDENSE  Increase information density

CONDENSE covers all aspects of increasing information density in reports and presentations.
Increasing information density means that all reports and presentations include all information that is necessary to understand the respective message on one page.

This chapter covers using small components, utilizing space, as well as adding data, elements, and objects. More...


CHECK  Ensure visual integrity

CHECK covers all aspects of ensuring visual integrity in reports and presentations.
Ensuring visual integrity means that reports and presentations present information in the most truthful and the most easily understood way by avoiding misleading visuals.

This chapter covers avoiding manipulated axes and visualization elements, using the same scales, and showing data adjustments. More...







[1] Playfair, William: The Commercial and Political Atlas, 1786

[2] Brinton, Willard Cope: Graphic Methods For Presenting Facts, 1914

[3] Zelazny, Gene: Say it with charts, 4. edition, 2001

[4] Tufte, Edward: The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, 2. edition, 2011

[5] Few, Stephen: Show Me the Numbers, 2. edition, 2012



© 2015 IBCS Association. Except where otherwise noted licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 International.