Chapter 14: Review and Exercises

Chapter Summary

Key Takeaways

Key Icon

  • Visual design is important because people don’t read workplace documents for fun. They read them because they have to. Your job is to make documents as readable and usable as possible.
  • Before you design your document, define your purpose and think about your audience.
  • To make sure that everyone can benefit from your graphics, consider accessibility.
  • Gestalt Theory helps us to think about how the document functions as a whole. The six principles of Gestalt Theory are: similarity, continuation, closure, proximity, figure/ground segregation and symmetry.
  • When designing charts and graphs, think about what relationship you are trying to show.
  • It is important to revise graphics and other document design elements, as well as to revise your text, and to make the entire document reader-centred.

Exercises For Reflection


  1. Choose an assignment that you have created in this class or another class that does not currently have a chart or graph. Find some data that could benefit from being presented as a chart or graph. Create a chart or graph that illustrates the data, making sure to choose the correct relationship. For example, you might find a sentence in an essay you wrote that says that 10% of Millenials don’t own a smart phone. You could show this visually using a pie chart.
  2. Find an infographic online. Then, evaluate it according to what you have just learned. Write a short paragraph that answers the following questions: How does it present data? Is it easy to understand? Is it ethical? Can you understand where the data came from?
  3. Find a poster in your campus or workplace, or out in the community. Take a photo of it, then evaluate it according to Gestalt Theory. Can you identify all of the principles?
  4. Choose a website that you like to visit, then use what you learned about accessibility to evaluate how accessible the website’s visuals are. Write a short email (you do not have to send it) to the website’s owner suggesting three changes they could make to improve the accessibility of their visuals.



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Chapter 14: Review and Exercises Copyright © 2021 by Melissa Ashman; Arley Cruthers; eCampusOntario; Ontario Business Faculty; and University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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