Visuals

Visuals are an essential part of engineering communication; from complex engineering drawings to quick doodles to infographics and slide decks, well designed visuals can communicate complex ideas more effectively than words.  This page lists resources we’ve developed and aggregated on visuals in engineering communication.

  • When communicating about risk, the hope is to craft appropriate messaging to motivate appropriate action and understanding by the public. This is often challenging, particularly when there is so much scientific uncertainty involved in the risk. Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, many messages have been developed ...

  • News in recent days about the process and decision making tools used by Boeing in the Boeing 737 Max case reminds us about the importance of communication tools in engineering. As reported by The Daily Herald [1], Boeing made a detailed presentation to the FAA ...

  • When designing visuals, we often neglect to identify a purpose beyond simply representing data. But visuals – particularly data visuals and infographics – are most effective when they are designed with a clear purpose in mind, particularly if they contribute to an argument. Melissa Clarkson’s ...

  • As news organizations, governments, and corporations struggle to communicate more complex information to multiple audiences, they increasingly rely on visual representations.  Quite a number of prominent failures in visual design that have played out in the media over the past few years; looking at these ...

  • Are you in the process of composing a set of slides, a handout, or some other graphical document? You may want to read Melissa Clarkson‘s new contribution to the site, on The Elements of Visual Communication, where she identifies key strategies for graphically communicate (A) hierarchy, (B) grouping and (C) sequence, three relationships that ...

  •  Melissa Clarkson This brief tutorial introduces the foundational elements of visual communication. The emphasis is on techniques to graphically communicate (A) hierarchy, (B) grouping and (C) sequence— three concepts that are critical for designing effective figures, posters, and slides. Here is an overview of the strategy: Position, color, ...

  • Most engineers are familiar with the concept of signal to noise ratio: maximizing signal and minimizing noise is a governing principle in communication technology design. What some may not know is that the concept can also be used in information and document design, where it ...

  • In many engineering presentations, slide headers are used to indicate the topic or subject of a slide. As in this case study presented by Technical Arts Consulting, this usually involves a sentence fragment, such as in this visual [1]. But a title such as “Platinum Catalyst ...

  • By Samartha Vashishtha, Content and Community Lead, Adobe Systems Ten years ago, a BBC.com feature1 made a startling observation. It warned that the addictive nature of Web browsing could leave the average human with an attention span of nine seconds—“roughly that of a goldfish.”2 The Internet has ...

  • Jean-luc Doumont, a world-acclaimed expert in oral presentations and a senior member of IEEE, addresses in his informative podcast the key methods you can employ to create effective presentation slides. https://procomm.ieee.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Dumont.mp3