Pre-attentive Visual Properties

How did my student Arif improve his vision using appropriate pre-attentive attributes? So, a few weeks ago, I got a call from a co-worker requesting me to come to a meeting and offer input on one of the below-displayed images. Although I enjoyed the work and thought the aesthetic was not bad, I thought there was space for improvement.

When we gaze at a visual, our brain or, more precisely, our spatial memory, subconsciously analyses characteristics known as pre-attentive qualities. You focus on it right away as the first thing. Before you even realise it, the procedure is completed in a matter of milliseconds. Now that you have the necessary instrument, use it wisely.

Your eyes may initially focus on the title, which is followed by a beautiful map with one distinct colour for each district. However, this is not useful for your analysis because it could cause them to wander to the various districts.

Additionally, employing colourful donut charts, unnecessary borders (Top KPIS), and an excessive number of colours appeared to be highly distracting.

Colin Ware defines the four pre-attentive visual qualities as follows in his book “Information Visualization: Perception for Design”:

Color (&Contrast) – Shahrukh Khan’s light-colored attire makes it easier to distinguish him from all the other dancers there.

Form (Lenglth) – The Great Khali, whose height was renowned across the world aside from the thrashing he inflicted on Undertaker

Movement – Do you recall how the matrix lady sped off towards the other direction of the flow of traffic?

Geographic Positioning – Shahrukh Khan is especially noticeable because of where he is in relation to the other dancers; he is very in front of them.

On this chart , you can see how Preattentive traits can draw your attention. You can see that each section has a different orientation, length, width, and other characteristics that can help you focus on a specific element. If you wanted your audience to pay attention to the same thing, you succeeded; otherwise, you need to put more effort into establishing your visualisation properly.

Now that Arif has a challenge on his hands, let’s see how he eventually succeeded in creating the Data Story below.

Image Credit:

Let’s go on and concentrate on the qualities Arif paid attention to, please feel free to click on the image to view the interactive version of this story.

Color: Given that the subject matter is crop, it makes reasonable to choose a green colour scheme that provides the impression that you are seated in the middle of a green field. colours are used sparingly and are not used in places where they are not necessary.

Border: Removing unnecessary borders from top KPIs so that viewer can completely focus on the numbers 

Position: Previously, the filter was at the top, alongside the other KPIs, but now it is in a better location, complimented by other options like download and view switch, etc.

As a conclusion, I’d like to emphasise that Preattentive traits will always be present; it is now up to you to use them to your own benefit. I hope it was helpful and gave you a fresh viewpoint, especially if you are a novice. Let Shahrukh Khan be seen right away; the longer you take, the more you detract from telling your message.

Ritesh Bisht

#1 in the world to be Tableau Ambassador and Power BI Super User

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