Organization is not something I am strong in. So when I started this project to create an organizational graphic, I have to admit I struggled. But in looking at what I have done so far with my Game Physics and Programming book, it is clear that organization is what has been lacking most of all. It’s clear that my writing style is just to launch into a topic rather than organize what is needed to learn a topic. The reader has no clear knowledge about what will be learned or what will be done.
So I decided that I needed to figure the organization out for myself before I can create a graphic showing organization. I started with an outline of the entire chapter. This got very long, so the idea of making the entire outline into a graphic just didn’t work. So I decided to create graphics for each section in the chapter. This graphic will be placed at the beginning of each section to allow the reader to see what is to come in the section.
Users and assumptions
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.
Our assignment this week was to create some type of table or chart that serves as an additional resource to help organize the information. And also, that the graphic should provide some type of overview related to your topic of choice. I chose to take this very literally and create a flowchart that provided an overview of what was to come in the section.
According to Lohr (2008 p. 133), a “left-to-right, top-to-bottom sequencing strategy is an easy way to establish hierarchy.” and “place the most important items on the top-left area of a display, the next most important items to the immediate right, eventually working toward a lower position on the page, likely starting on the left again.” The chart uses color and alignment to emphasize the hierarchical flow of the information down the left of the graphic. The right hand side of the chart contains subordinate information that goes into further detail about what the reader will be doing to get the steps on the left done.
The graphic above has already been revised after a user test. My initial graphic had similarly colored shapes on the right in an attempt to create indented shapes to show hierarchy. The graphic was “just too busy.” as my wife said. I decided to use the shapes that look like little pieces of paper to show that the information was like notes, that you could read and get more details or skim over knowing you would get more information later in the text. The graphic above is post-user response.
Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.