Re: Resources for the graphically challenged

Subject: Re: Resources for the graphically challenged
From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 05 Oct 2017 09:07:41 -0400

I was thinking about the same problem this morning, one of my impossible things before breakfast. Mathematics, in particular, loses most students because of its reputation to be boring. BOHHHHHRING. Who cares about dy/dx anyway? What difference does it make? And if you REALLY need to know 6 times 9 you can use a calculator. Perhaps there ought to be animated cartoon presentations that cover the material both correctly and enticingly. Disney did one long ago with Donald Duck: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJgkaU08VvY

Won't hurt to look at the many cartoon books by Larry Gonick, in which he explains algebra, physics and calculus (and lots more) with cartoons. http://www.larrygonick.com/

I think the field is wide open. Some diagrams and cartoons are misleading or even wrong. It would probably pay to test any proposed diagrams on a possible audience, especially those who are outside the field you are trying to explain.

The parts of your subject matter that need diagrams might possibly be those that your readers find most difficult to understand.

Here is a book from a century ago that has some good illustrations for understanding calculus:
Calculus Made Easy by Silvanus P. Thompson - https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/33283
Thompson was an electrical engineer, not a mathematician, and thus used approaches to the subject that sidestepped some of the "rigor" that is usually dumped into the head of the unsuspecting freshman. The illustrations on pages 183 and 184 give clearer explanations than those that appear in some other books.

On Thu, 05 Oct 2017 04:03:31 -0400, Mark Lewin <techwr -at- fastmail -dot- co -dot- uk> wrote:

Hi all,

I'm a tech writer specializing in very technical instructional content
for DBAs and Developers. I write courses, tutorials, how-to's - that
kind of thing.

I'm not a particularly "visual" person. I tend to think in text. I want
to be able to create better content that uses visuals and diagrams to
get points across. Not only are the diagrams I create pretty "meh", but
I'm sure I miss opportunities where diagrams would be a better option
than words.

My question to this list is: can anyone recommend any good books,
courses, articles, etc that would help me become a better "visual
thinker" and perhaps help me learn some basic design skills too?
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References:
Resources for the graphically challenged: From: Mark Lewin

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