Ware: Visual Thinking for Design

This is a thin little book (I know several people who read it in one sitting) that discusses the psychology of visual perception and its relationship to visualization and design. It’s not very deep, but its a great place to get started in appreciating how understanding how we see can help us be better designers.

Ware: Visual Thinking for Design (online via EZ Proxy) will let you download the entire book, which you probably want to do because we’ll read most of it over the course of the semester.


This is a thin little book that will give you some of the elements of how the human visual system works, well contextualized with how that influences visual design and visualization. It is concise and generally well thought out. It doesn’t take the place of a more thorough introduction to perception, or a more thorough discussion of visualization, or even a touch into the research that connects perception to visualization. But it’s a great starting point. It provides a lot of the intuitions.

I think this book is a great place to start for thinking about how perception influences visualization. So I will recommend we start with it. We’ll pretty much read the whole thing.