COVID-Inspired Lessons About Charts
Dr. Sara Doan is an Assistant Professor of Technical Communication at Kennesaw State University, where she teaches data visualization, information design, and Health and Medicine in Technical Communication. Dr. Doan's previous research on instructor feedback has appeared in IEEE Transactions on Technical Communication; her research on COVID-19 charts is appearing this January in the Journal of Business and Technical Communication.
In this session, we talk about some very important lessons learned in a look back at what the COVID crisis has taught us all. We discuss guidelines for creating accurate, accessible, and eye-catching charts about COVID-19, particularly for sharing via social media.
There is nothing like a global pandemic to bring to the front and center the need for accurate and understandable graphics.The use of visual aids in communicating important information to a diverse audience is nothing new.
We know the importance of citing sources and accuracy, but stunning graphics with colors and lines influence our understanding and can shape behaviours and beliefs. With the advent of Social media and non-traditional news outlets, a new emphasis on stimulating data visualization is first priority.
As professional communicators, it is paramount that we understand data visualization so that we can pair our technical accuracy with the human psychology of aesthetics.
From good graphics gone bad when taken out of context to blatant manipulations to sway opinion with no foundation in fact. We’ll also talk about the need for us to focus on accessibility and the democratization of information especially in times of crisis.
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