Color and Depth

Image explaining a vector3

The graphic above is meant for readers of my book Game Physics and Programming. Readers are usually high school students in my physics classes or readers who have purchased the book online. The book assumes a basic understanding of physics and mathematics that a typical student would learn in the first couple months of class.

The four instructional functions of color are to label or differentiate information, to identify a quantity of measurement, to represent reality, and to create aesthetic appeal (Lohr 2008, p. 265). The graphic above uses color mostly for the first three. The labeling or differentiation of information comes from the colors used on the axes, the gizmo (top right), and the parentheses and numbers.

RGB-XYZ is a memory aid I use all the time and this graphic reinforces that idea through the matching of color to the axes, numbers, and where the numbers go in the parentheses of the Vector3.

Color is used to identify a quantity of measurement through the use of colored parentheses and the numbers. It also represents reality, in a way, because this depicts what they will see in the “reality” of the Unity game creation application.

User Test/Feedback

The feedback I got from this graphic was that the three in the vector3 in front did not match the color of the three on the axes or next to the parentheses. This caused confusion. Another issue was the “–vector3–>” arrow and that the “–>” part looked like mathematics (greater than or less than). This is not good because mathematics where no mathematics is meant just adds confusion.

Changes after user test/feedback

Since this graphic was created in a 3D program, I need to add light to the front of “vector3(x,y,z).” I also need to get rid of the “–vector3->” and replace it with a 3D vector.

The following graphic shows the changes after user feedback along with a few other changes that came after further feedback such as making the word “Vector3” match the color of the 3D vector.

image of new vector3 graphic


Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance: Lessons in visual literacy (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

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