39 studies about human perception in 30 minutes
I’m a graphics editor at The Washington Post, which means I’m part developer, part journalist. Graphics editors like me often rely on common wisdom and experiential knowledge to inform our decisions about design and visualization choices — which is incredibly valuable.
For the last several years, I’ve wondered about what we actually know from scientific studies about how humans perceive graphics. I’ve collected things here and there, but when I started to get into the thick of it, I realized how extensive this body of research really is. There is a lot that I’m leaving out.
This is an extreme distillation of these studies. In reality, these are robust studies, many with multiple experiments each, loaded with meaningful nuance that I do not have time to address. These are very simplistic representations of one or two core findings. I encourage that you read them in their entirety and consider their complete findings.