Critique of a sample

Subject: Critique of a sample
From: "Janoff, Steven" <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- ga -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2014 10:52:03 -0800


I was looking to get some thoughts on a piece I did a couple of years ago, if anyone is interested.

It was done as a poster. I worked with an in-house graphic artist. (The poster was intended to be hung up above or near the machine shown in the top right of the piece -- benchtop device maybe 2-3 feet high/wide/deep.)

I wrote the text but the primary thing was the geometry at the center. I went through 8 iterations of design of the geometry, and we settled on #7, but it took that long to really get the concept right (and there's still some room for improvement on the final design).

I started with a rough cycle presented by the principal hardware engineer in a PPT slide. The first design I came up with looked like something from a map of the solar system, with orbits of planets. But the idea had to evolve into something that wasn't concentric.

Midway through these design iterations, the product manager developed a sketch that conveyed a little better what they were trying to get across, so I picked up the iterations with that and evolved through a couple of additional designs.

The graphic artist integrated the whole thing and came up with some of the design ideas for the legend (e.g., the half-shading to signify a decision point). I thought she did a phenomenal job on the overall design.

Anyway, it was really an interesting project, and very intense because for me it was very mathematical/geometric, at the same time trying to convey a complex interplay of ideas through something that could be digested fairly quickly.

One of the customer support engineers really liked it, and hung up a pre-release copy above one of the in-house lab machines. It seemed to get a good response.

I'm curious how it looks in general even to those outside the intended audience (scientists performing DNA sequencing runs on these machines). Is it evident what this is about on first look, or is it confusing?

Thanks for your thoughts.


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