Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed this class overall. While many of the assignments brought me much frustration with time and lack of artistic skill, I really feel like it made an impact. I really learned something. I learned many things about the cognitive load and how we think and perceive things visually. I cannot look at another graphic without analyzing what can be done to decrease the cognitive load (thus releasing the pain from my headache and decreasing my consumption of aspirin). I can also now effectively employ the use of the various different vocabulary terms that we learned in class (or at least I hope I can).

I really enjoyed baking the cake with our group members and creating a visual representation of what we have learned this semester. We actually had to employ Occam’s Razor and the Principle of Parsimony when deciding what information we wanted to display on the cake without visually overloading the representation. We only wanted to show the necessary information needed to explain what we have learned from this course without causing strain to the audience’s brain. That shows that we actually took something from this class and applied it to our project without actually thinking about it.

This final assignment, just like all other group work in other classes, really helps me to learn how to work with other people. Cooperation is key to success, and like we said in class, there are few professions where one works alone. Although I feel like I work better alone, I know that it is important to learn to compromise and let others talk once in a while.  This does not only apply to visual communication, but it is a life lesson that we all should learn. There are few professions where one works alone, thus the main key to succeeding in life is learning how to be an effective team member.

Final Project


One would think that coming up with a topic for this visualization would be difficult. You could pick any type of visual to display everything we have learned this semester in our visual communication class. Immediately after receiving the topic of the visualization, Jen turned to the group and said, “I want to bake something.” Instantly, we had visualized our canvas for the project:  A cake. Now, how can we represent as much information on the course material as possible on a cake?

At first we had no idea what to put on the cake. We wanted to put as much information on the cake as possible, but at the same time we did not want to overload the cake (thus increasing the cognitive load). In the beginning, we were going to create a pie graph on the top with Gestalt and his principles. On the lower level of the cake, we were going to show examples of the different Gestalt principles. On the sides of the cake we were going to display the names of the various theorists, including Pavio, Schriver and Lester.

As the cake was baking, we came upon the realization that we were limiting ourselves to just displaying one aspect of the class. We changed the pie graph to show the different aspects of the class, with Gestalt being the most prominent (thus having the biggest portion of the graph). The lower tier shows examples of the various other types of visuals that we encountered in various assignments this semester, including a line graph, a scatter plot, a flow chart and a bar graph. We, collectively, came up with the idea of how to portray a how to bake a cake explanation graphic on the sides of the cake. Drawing with frosting is not an easy task. Graham crackers really helped with the writing aspect of this assignment. In the end, it looked like somewhat of a third grade art project.

There were several difficulties that we encountered along the way. Group communication was a huge contributing factor to effective execution. Finals schedules can be tough with which to make everyone happy. With a group of four, we found it extremely difficult to schedule meeting times. Frosting was another difficulty factor. Frosting and icing does not cooperate. While preparing the items to actually bake the cakes, it seemed a bit awkward for four people to stand around and prepare ingredients. We should have planned the meeting time a bit later after the cake was baked so that we could have not wasted so much time. Another huge complication that we encountered was overcoming our lack of artistic ability. In the end, we decided that our idea in general was creative enough to outweigh our lack of artistic abilities. Our lack of resources as well does not accurately portray Jen’s baking abilities (not to mention the fact that she is absolutely against baking anything from a boxed mix). She has more baking tools that could have helped decorate and make the overall, finished project look more clear-cut and cleaner in the end.  If we had more time to complete this project (I wish there was more time in a day), we probably would have used more artistic skill to clean it up a bit. Otherwise, we are proud that others got to enjoy our project.

Multivariate Display

This assignment was not so much difficult as it was challenging (if that makes any sense). I became very much topic focused when trying to think of a subject for this assignment. Finding that I was becoming a bit stressed with all of my assignments, I turned to my stress relieving Disney movies. In the middle of watching the Lion King and doing my Latin homework, it hit me:  My multivariate display could be on various Disney movies. I began with searching for the top grossing Disney movies and was somewhat surprised to see Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first big budget animated film for Disney, was still in this top list of highest grossing movies. I began first with creating a table of these high grossing films. I found all of the information from I was very excited to see that the Lion King was number one on this list.   Other films included Finding Nemo, Tarzan, and the only non-animated film, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. I made a bar graph that showed all the information of the top ten, highest grossing Disney movies.

For some fun with the project, I decided to create one of those quizzes from magazines that ask “Which Disney Villain Are You?” I found it very enjoyable to create the different questions and solutions for this flow chart quiz. When I took the “quiz” myself, I turned out to be Scar from the Lion King. I made my friends take my little quiz and they had a lot of fun with it. I also took a poll of everyone in my residence hall of who their favorite Disney villain was. To my surprise, many of them never heard of some of the villains on the list. For example, only about two percent of the residents have even heard Radcliffe, the bad guy from Pocahontas, let alone like him as a villain. For another aspect of this assignment, I decided to create a concept map of the relationship between characters in the Lion King. I had a lot of fun with this part. Although it was only a piece of the project, I wanted to show how much I really love this movie. I can recite it by heart.

If we had more time to complete this project, I most likely would have done most or all of the work on the computer. I think the overall appearance of the display would have been much cleaner. Otherwise, I really enjoyed working on this assignment (despite the fact that finals are absolutely stressing me out). This assignment was somewhat of a break for me in-between my papers and studying. In September of this past year, I went home one weekend to go and see the Lion King in 3-D with my dad and my little brother Logan. Even at twenty-years-old, I still absolutely LOVE going to the movie theater to see these classic movies. I remember while we were at the theater, watching the film, my little brother turned to me and said, “I wish the whole family could be here to see this.” I knew that I would never let the “Lion King” or the Disney movie tradition die in my family.


The bushes were rustling in the wind and the leaves were blowing through the air. After the wind slows, there was still a noise within the bushes. Isabella turns around slowly and peers into the bushes, afraid of what she was about to see. Suddenly, the sky turns gray as the clouds roll together. Deep within, she saw a pair of neon yellow eyes peering from the woods. Afraid of what may be there, she nervously awaits outside the plants. All of a sudden, a black cat jumps from behind the bushes and remains staring at Isabella, still and silent. The eerie atmosphere remains.

For this storyboard it proved somewhat difficult to actually think of a subject. I really liked this image from the four pictures chosen.  From the first panel to the second, I used the “subject-to-subject” transition. From the first panel, you can see the wind blowing the leaves around and then all of a sudden in the second one, there is a little girl on the other end of the bushes. In essentially the same scene, you first see just the plants and then the subject changes to the girl. From the second to the third panel, I also chose to use the “subject-to-subject” panel, as we then move from the subject of the little girl to the other end of the woods in the bush with the pair of eyes. Again, this is the same scene from the perspective of two different subjects. I could have used the “scene-to-scene” transition (perhaps a stretch) to suggest that there is a distance between the little girl and the bushes with the eyes. The transition for the last panel, I decided to call this “action-to-action.” Honestly, I had a hard time trying to name this transition because I feel that the cat at the end is actually a result of the action of it jumping from the bushes.

Additional Photos from:

Young Maria wanders very far in the woods and realizes she is lost. Suddenly, the bushes start rustling, and Maria quickly turns to see who is there. All of a sudden, a masked man appears from behind a tree and grabs the girl. Before she can scream for help, he quickly covers her mouth. It has been two months since Maria’s abduction and still the police have not found the kidnapper. Every day, Joseph, Maria’s father, goes to church and prays for his daughter’s safe return. He hopes that someday he will be able to see his daughter again.  

For this story, I decided to use the same photo of the girl as well as the man that looks like he is praying. For the first transition between the first and second panels, I used the “action-to-action” transition. In the first scene the little girl is standing there, and then all of a sudden a man is grabbing her. The transition to the next panel is also “action-to-action.” Right after he grabs her, he quickly covers her mouth so she cannot scream. Perhaps this could be considered “moment-to-moment,” but I felt that it was too much of a transition and could not fit that flip book style of moments. In the last one, time has elapsed and you can see the little girl’s father (or so I have named him). From the third and fourth panels, I used the “scene-to-scene” transition. Two months have gone by since the girl has been kidnapped and the scene is now focused on the father rather than the girl.

If I had more time to complete this I probably would have drawn the second storyboard. I ran out of time towards the end so I decided to use images from rather than create my own. I would also have taken more time to create more details in the first storyboard. Overall, I really like both stories that are told, even if the drawn images are not exactly how I wanted them to be.