Chartjunk or Goldgraph? Effects on Presentation Objectives and Content Desirability on Information Presentation

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Abstract

Most research on information presentation is based on the rational approach to display design. This approach assumes that the quality of displays is determined by their relative efficacy to provide the relevant information for the viewer, as assessed through variables such as response latency, accuracy, or decision quality. However, presentations often are intended to convince viewers and create desired impressions. These considerations may lead to the choice of displays that differ from those prescribed by the rational approach. Three experiments addressed the degree to which the presenter’s objectives and the desirability of the presented information affect presenters’ preferences for display formats. Presenters exhibited different preferences when they tried to create a favorable impression compared to when they tried to reach optimal decisions or provide information for optimal decision making by others. There was an increased use of depth in graphic displays when impressions were crucial, and this tendency was particularly strong when the presented information was undesirable for the presenter. The results demonstrate the importance of understanding the social circumstances of information presentation when evaluating the adequacy of display formats.

Additional Details

Author Noam Tractinsky and Joachim Meyer
Year 1999
Volume 23
Issue 3
Keywords Information presentation, communication visuals, self-presentation, impression management, presentation preferences, business graphics, information desirability, graphic displays, display design
Page Numbers 397-420