The talk was called "Five Years of Chart Reading". Probably should have subtitled it, "condensed to 20 minutes". While preparing the talk, I realized that I have written over 500 posts since the blog came into being. I know, that works out to be only once every 3 or 4 days, what a lazy bum. But since most of my posts are substantive, the collection really did cover a lot of ground.
For many readers, especially those who have followed the blog from its early days, the contents of the talk should be familiar. I had time to develop only one general theme--not surprisingly, I picked "self-sufficiency".
I did introduce one new idea: the "Trifecta Checkup" framework for chart critique. I believe this is the constant behind pretty much all the posts on Junk Charts. All outstanding charts have all three elements in harmony. Typically, a problematic chart gets only two of the three pieces right. I will be elaborating on this framework in subsequent posts.
In the first half of the talk, Dona Wong gave examples of her work at the Wall Street Journal, and Siegel+Gale, which is a brand consulting company that designed the 1040EZ form. Like myself, she believes the key to good graphics lies with the upfront "data strategy", and not tools or software. I particularly liked her examples of portraying relative energy consumption of various household appliances, displaying daily spending patterns in a way that answers the question directly, and revamping the weather section to be more "business-friendly".
Check out Wong's new book on graphics here.