Info on consumer information graphics

Course materials

Human Centered Design & Engineering      University of Washington

Readings and other materials

Assigned and recommended readings

The items listed below are a superset of the readings assigned on the syllabus. In addition to the assigned readings (with full bibliographic citations) are readings that may be mentioned in class discussion and that may be useful to you as your work on your course assignments.

Aguera y Aracas, Blaise, Photosynth demo, TED Conference (March) 2007.

Alexander, Christopher, The Timeless Way of Building, New York: Oxford University Press, 1979.

Allen, Patrick, John Bateman, and Judy Delin, “Genre and Layout Design in Multimodal Documents: Towards an Empirical Account,” American Association for Artificial Intelligence Fall Symposium on Using Layout for the Generation, Analysis, or Retrieval of Documents, Cape Cod, Autumn 1999.

Analore, Andrew, “GM Uses Wiki to Tell its Story.”, August 29, 2008.

Berghel, Hal, “A Cyberpublishing Manifesto,” Communications of the ACM, 44 (3), 2001, pp. 17-20.

Bernstein, Mark, HypertextGardens. and pdf verson.

Billinghurst, Mark., Kato, Hirkazu., and Poupyrev, Ivan, “The MagicBook - Moving Seamlessly between Reality and Virtuality,” "Computer Graphics and Applications,” 21(3), 2001, pp. 2-4.

Bosman, J., “E-Books Fly Beyond Mere Text,” New York Times (, July 29, 2010.

Bush, Vannevar, “As We May Think, Atlantic Monthly, 176.1 (July), 1945, pp. 101-108. A version with valuable commentary was reprinted in the ACM magazine Interactions, 3 (2), March 1996, pp. 35-46. Sections 6-8 are the key sections in Bush’s article.

Cawsey, Alison, Floriana Grasso, and Cecile Paris, “Adaptive Information for Consumers of Healthcare,” in P. Brusilovsky, A. Kobsa, and W. Nejdl (eds.), The Adaptive Web, Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag 2007, pp. 465–484, 2007.

Chandler, Daniel, “An Introduction to Genre Theory,” posted to the Web on August 7, 1997.

Chandler, Daniel. “Montaigne and the Word Processor,” posted on the Web on May 26,1997.

Clark, Ruth, “Six Principles of Effective e-Learning: What Works and Why.” The eLearning Developers' Journal, September 10, 2002, pp. 1-8. (A summary of research by Richard Mayer.)

Communications of the ACM, The Adaptive Web, 45:5, (May 2002). Available from the ACM Digital Library at (Brusilovsky, Bental, Billsus, Cheverst, de Bra, and Andre).

Cotton, Bob and Richard Oliver, “Hypermedia Applications: Education” from Understanding Hypermedia, London: Phaidon Press, 1993, pp. 88-89.

De Bra, Paul, “Adaptive Educational Hypermedia on the Web,” Communications of the ACM, 45 (1), 2002, pp. 60-61. Available from the ACM Digital Library at Also see other articles on the Adaptive Web by Brusilovsky, Bental, Billsus, Cheverst, and Andre.

De Bra, Paul, “Adaptive Hypermedia,” in Kinshuk, Sampson, Adelsberger and Pawlowski (Eds.), Handbook on Information Technologies for Education and Training. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2008, pp. 29-46.

Delin, Judy, John Bateman, and Patrick Allen. “A Model of Genre in Document Layout,” Information Design Journal, 11(1), 2002-3, pp. 54–66.

Ding, Huiling, “Genre analysis of personal statements: Analysis of Moves in Application Essays to Medical and Dental Schools,” English for Specific Purposes, 26 (2007) 368–392.

Erickson, Thomas, “Social Interaction on the Net:  Virtual Community as Participatory Genre,” Proceedings of the Thirtieth Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, January 6-10, 1997, Maui, Hawaii.

Farkas, David K., “The Linear Hierarchical Model,” unpublished course material, 2010.

Farkas, David K. and Christopher Raleigh, “Designing Documents for Selective Reading,” forthcoming, Information Design Journal.

Read Farkas, Larson, & Naranjo, “LabelPatterns.Org: A Comprehensive Pattern Library for Environmental and Consumer-Decision Labels,” Proceedings of the 2011 IPCC Conference.

Farkas, David K., “Managing Three Mediation Effects that Influence PowerPoint Deck Authoring,” Technical Communication, 56 (1), 2009.

Farkas, David K., “A Heuristic for Reasoning about PowerPoint Deck Design,” Proceedings of the 2008 International Professional Communication Conference, Montreal, Canada, July 13-16.

Farkas, David K., “Toward a Better Understanding of PowerPoint Deck Design,” IDJ+DD (Information Design Journal + Document Design), 14 (2), 2006, pp. 162-71.

Farkas, David K., “Explicit Structure of Print and On-Screen Documents,” Technical Communication Quarterly, 14 (1), 2005, pp. 9-30.

Farkas, David K., “Understanding and Using PowerPoint,” Proceedings of the Society for Technical Communication 52nd Annual Conference, Seattle, WA, May 8-11, 2005, pp. 313-320.

Farkas, David K., “Hypertext and Hypermedia,” Berkshire Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, Berkshire Publishing 2004, pp. 332-336.

Farkas, David K. “Managing Headings in Print and Online Documents,” Proceedings of the  2002 IPCC Conference, Portland, OR, September 17-20.

Farkas, David K. and Farkas, Jean B., “Writing for the Web” (Chapter 10), in Principles of Web Design. Longman, 2002, pp. 220-240.

Farkas, David K. and Farkas, Jean B., “An Introduction to Copyright Law (Appendix B),” in Principles of Web Design. Longman, 2002.

Farkas, David K. and Farkas, Jean B., “Graphic Design,” in Principles of Web Design. Longman, 2002.

Farkas, David K., Jerrod Larson, and Steven J. Naranjo, “LabelPatterns.Org: A Comprehensive Pattern Library for Consumer-Decision Labels,” Proceedings of the 2011 IPCC Conference.

Farkas, David K. and Christopher Raleigh, “Designing Documents for Selective Reading,” forthcoming 2012, Information Design Journal.>

Fisher, Lori, “Moving from Single Sourcing to Reuse with XML DITA,” Best Practices (Comtech), June 2003, pp. 63-68.

FLOSS Manuals Community Members, FLOSS Manuals, 2008

French, Howard W., “U.N. Congo Report Offers New View on Genocide,” New York Times (, August 27, 2010.

Gladwell, Malcolm, “The Social Life of Paper: Looking for Method in the Mess,The New Yorker, March 25, 2002, pp. 92-96.

Gold, Rich, “Reading PowerPoint,” in Working With Words And Images: New Steps in an Old Dance, Nancy J. Allen (ed). Ablex, 2002.

Graham, S. Scott and Brandon Whalen, “Mode, Medium, and Genre.A Case Study of Decisions in New-Media Design,” Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 22 (1), 2008, pp. 65-91.

Harrill, Rob, “Readers Become Part of the Action through High-Tech Mixture of Traditional Storytelling and Virtual Reality in UW's ‘Magic Book,’ ” University of Washington press release, September 12, 2000.

Hartley, James, “Text Design,” in Handbook of Research for Educational Communications and Technology, ed. David H. Jonassen, New York, Macmillan, 1996.

Heller, Steven, “Tom Suzuki, 76, a Designer Who Transformed Textbooks, Dies,” New York Times (, September,12, 2006.

Horn, Robert E., “Interactive Visual Scenario for the PanDefense 1.0 Conference,” 2006.

Horn, Robert E., “Mega-Flu Pandemic: Not Quite the Worst Case Scenario V.2”, 2005.

Horn, Robert E., “What Kinds of Writing Have a Future?” Presentation at the ACM SigDOC Conference, October 22, 2001.

Horn, Robert E., “Knowledge Mapping for Complex Social Messes,” Presentation at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, July 16, 2001.

Horn, Robert E. “Structured Writing as a Paradigm,” in Instructional Development: State of the Art, Alexander Romiszowski and Charles Dills (eds). Englewood Cliffs, N. J., Educational Technology Publications, 1998.

Hyde, Adam, Book Sprints Face-2-Face, 2009.

Iliinsky, Noah and Julie Steele, Designing Data Visualizations, O’Reilly, 2011.

Jackson, Randolph L. and Eileen Fagan, “Collaboration and Learning within Immersive Virtual Reality,” Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Collaborative Virtual Environments 2000, San Francisco, California. Available from the ACM Digital Library at

Keep, Christopher, McLaughlin, Tim, and Parmar, Robin, The Electronic Labyrinth (written in 1993 and adapted for the World Wide Web in November 1995).

Kiernan, Vincent, “Multimedia Data Base at Carnegie Mellon Lets You ‘Interview’ Albert Einstein,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 9, 1998, p. A27.

Krag, Tomas, “Book Sprint Methodology.”

Larson, Jerrod and David K. Farkas, “Indicating Impact: The Environmental Life-Cycle Rating Label,” Proceedings of the 2011 IPCC Conference.

Larson, Jerrod, Indicating Impact: The Design of an Environmental Labeling System for Consumer Goods, doctoral dissertation, University of Washington, 2009.

Lee, Moon, J., “Expanding Hypertext: Does It Address Disorientation? Depends on Individuals' Adventurousness.” >Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 10(3).

Marcus Aaron, “Patterns within Patterns: Introduction to Design Patterns,” Interactions, March-April 2004, pp. 39-34.

Marinelli, Donald and Scott Stevens, Scott, “Synthetic interviews: the Art of Creating a 'Dyad' between Humans and Machine-Based Characters,” in IVTTA (Interactive Voice Technology for Telecommunications Applications) '98, pp. 1998,.43-48.

Marlow, Cameron, Mor Naaman, danah boyd, Marc Davis, “Position Paper, Tagging, Taxonomy, Flickr, Article, ToRead.” Proceedings Hypertext ’06 Conference.

Mayer, Richard E. and Roxana Moreno, “Nine Ways to Reduce Cognitive Load in Multimedia Learning,” Educational Psychologist, 38(1), pp. 43-52, 2003.

McCloud, Scott, “Follow that Trail” (I Can’t Stop Thinking #4).

McCloud, Scott. “Zot Online: Hearts and Minds” (Part #12).

McCloud, Scott, Google Chrome: Behind the Open Source Browser Project.

National Endowment for the Arts, Reading on the Rise: A New Chapter in American Literacy. Washington, DC Undated/2009.

Nelson, Theodor Holm (“Ted”), Excerpt from Computer Lib/Dream Machines, from The New Media Reader, ed. Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2003.

Nelson, Theodor Holm (“Ted”), “Xanadu: Document Interconnection Enabling Re-use with Automatic Author Credit and Royalty Accounting,” Information Services & Use, 14 (1994), pp. 255-265.

Nielsen, Jacob, “Transmedia Design for the 3 Screens (Make That 5),” Alertbox, August 29, 2011.

Nielsen, Jakob, “How Little Do Users Read?” Alertbox, May 6, 2008.

Nielsen, Jakob, “Reviving Advanced Hypertext.” Alertbox, January 3, 2005.

Nielsen, Jakob, “The End of Legacy Media” (Newspapers, Magazines, Books, TV Networks).” Alertbox, August 23, 1998.

Onion, The, “Nation Shudders At Large Block of Uninterrupted Text,” Science & Technology, March 9, 2010 (issue 46-10).

Ostinelli, “The Composite Intelligence of Virtual Assistants.” Ostinelli.Net, 2007.

Peters, Jeremy W., “For New Yorker on iPad, Words Are the Thing,” New York Times (, July 31, 2011.

Pettersson, Rune, It Depends: Information Design: Principles/Guidelines, Fourth, ed., Tullinge, Sweden, 2012

Raban, Jonathan, Excerpt about modular writing from “The Nuclear Threat,” a review of  The Atomic Bazaar  by William Langewiesche, New York Times, May 20, 2007.

Ramaswami, Rama, “Best of Both Worlds,” Campus Technology, September 1, 2009, pp. 24-31.

Redish, Janice (Ginny) Letting Go of the Words, Morgan Kaufmann/Elsevier, 2007.

Redish, Janice (Ginny), “Writing for the Web, Letting Go of the Words”, Intercom, June 2004, pp. pp. 4-10.

Rich, Motoko, “Curling Up With Hybrid Books, Videos Included,” New York Times online (, October 1, 2009.

Rockley Group, “Preparing for DITA: What You Need to Know,” white paper, Markham, Ontario, Canada, 2005.

Rockley, Ann, “Dynamic Content Management,” Intercom, February 2001, pp. 28-32 and 42.

Schmandt-Besserat, Denise, “Signs of Life”. Archaeology Odyssey, Jan-Feb 2002, 6–7, 63.

Self, Tony, “What If Readers Can’t Read?Intercom, February 2009, pp. 10-14.

Snyder, Carolyn, “Online Video: The Book Was Better,” Eye for Design, July/August, 1998, pp. 8-10.

Steuer, Jonathan, “Defining Virtual Reality: Dimensions Determining Telepresence,” Journal of Communication, 4(24) (Autumn, 1992), 73-93. Graphic of Steuer's model adapted by Clement Mok, Designing Business:> Multiple Media, Multiple Disciplines
San Jose, CA: Adobe Press, 1996.

Tracey, J. R., D.E. Rugh, and W.S. Starkey, Sequential Thematic Organization of Publications (STOP), Internal report for the Hughes Aircraft Company, 1965, reprinted in the Journal of Computer Documentation, 23 (3), August 1999. Available from the ACM Digital Library at

Tversky, B., J .B. Morrison, & M. Betrancourt, “Animation: Can it facilitate?International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 57, 2002, pp. 247-262.

University of Washington, Biological Information Handling: Essentials for Engineers, multimedia tutorial, 2004. (Click Get the CD and look for downloads).

van der Waarde, Karel, “The Graphic Presentation of Patient Package Inserts.” Information for Everyday Use: Design and Research Perspectives. Zwaga, H., Boersema, T., Hoonhout, H. eds; London: Taylor and Francis, Ltd, 2009.

Walker, Randall C., Phil Schloss, Charles A. Vogel, Adam S. Gordon, Charles R. Fletcher, and Stan Walker, “Visual-Syntactic Text Formatting: Theoretical Basis and Empirical Evidence for Impact on Human Reading.” Proceedings of the 2007 International Professional Communication Conference, Seattle, Washington, October 1-3. See also the annotated PowerPoint deck WalkerVSTF-IPCC07.

Weiss, Edmond, H., “Bits, Atoms, and the Technical Writer: The Rhetoric of STOP,” adapted from The Journal of Computer Documentation, 23 (3), 1999, pp. 95-101.

Wortham, Jenna, “Shorter E-Books for Smaller Devices,New York Times (, February 12, 2011.

Zhou, Quan and David K. Farkas, “QuikScan: Formatting Documents for Better Comprehension and Navigation,” Technical Communication, 57 (2), 2010, pp. 197-209.

Sources of information on Consumer Information Graphics

Here are some resources pertinent to consumer information graphics that can serve as a good starting point for writing your design patterns.

Adams, Austin , Theo Boersema & Meijer Mijksenaar, Warning symbology: Difficult concepts may be successfully depicted with two-part signs, Information Design Journal 18(2), 94–106, 2010

Illinsky, Noah and Julie Steele, Designing Data Visualizations, O’Reilly, 2011.

Thorne, J. and C. Egan, An Evaluation of the Federal Trade Commission’s Energy Guide Appliance Label: Final Report and Recommendations. Washington, DC: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, 2002.

Wolgaltern, Michael S, Vincent C. Conzola, & Tonya L. Smith-Jackson, “Research-based guidelines for warning design and evaluation,” Applied Ergonomics 33(3), May, 2002, pp. 219-30.

Ware, Colin, Information Visualization : Perception for Design, Morgan Kaufman, 2000. (4-hour reserve UW Engineering Library).

Kimball, Miles A. and Ann R. Hawkins, Document Design: A Guide for Technical Communications. Bedford/St. Martins, 2008. (4-hour reserve UW Engineering Library).

Kostelnick, Charles, and David D. Roberts, Desiging Visual Language: Strategies for Professional Communicators, Allyn & Bacon, 1998. (4-hour reserve UW Engineering Library).

Lipton, Ronnie, The Practical Guide to Information Design, Wiley, 2007. (4-hour reserve UW Engineering Library).

Pettersson, Rune, It Depends and his complete information design series.
Message Design
Text Design
Image Design
Graphic Design
Basic ID-concepts

Course materials 

Below are handouts, slide decks, and other resources that are not academic or professional publications. This includes a PDF version of the course syllabus (current as of the start of the quarter).

HCDE 510 Elvis Presley interactive interview (Team A and Team B).

Radiation label case study

Printed Course Syllabus V1

Problem-Solution Structure slide deck

Basic Communication Concepts slide deck

Medium and Genre slide deck

Format and Behaviors slide deck

Farkas, "Navigation vs. Scent" slide deck

John Henry Hypertext Exercise

Horn, Social Messages Missile Defense

Horn, Social Messes Multnomah

Horn, Social Messes Alameda

Noah Iliinsky, Knowledge Map

Noah Iliinsky, Book Diagram

Scriptographic-Your Eyes



In progress