Westside Wednesdays/Dashboard "Book" Club - Pre-attentive attributes

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 3:00pm to 4:00pm

More dates through June 16, 2021

Virtual Event

At our March 17, 2021 meeting, we'll be discussing "Focus Your Audience’s Attention," Chapter 4 of Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic's Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals. The chapter explores pre-attentive attributes like color, size, and position, elements that the human brain can see without much conscious effort. Nussbaumer Knaflic shows how they "can be leveraged to help direct your audience's attention to where you want them to focus it" and "to create a visual hierarchy...to lead your audience through the information you want to communicate it in the way you want them to process it."

As you read (or skim) the chapter, think about:

  • How do the designers of dashboards you use regularly use pre-attentive attributes to highlight information or guide you through the information?
  • How much attention do you pay to pre-attentive attributes as you're building your own dashboards?
  • Do you see yourself changing your practices based on this article? If so, how?

Download the chapter (access provided through the MIT Libraries; if you have trouble downloading off-campus, try disconnecting your VPN)

You will need to register to access the Zoom link

Co-sponsored by Westside Wednesdays and IT Partners

  • Westside Wednesdays is a periodic meeting where data-ish people at MIT discuss data-ish things from Tableau to data visualization best practices to user-centered design. Back in the day, we’d host these sessions on Wednesdays in W98 (Westside!). Westside Wednesdays are open to anyone at MIT who wants to participate, whether you data a lot, data a little, or are just interested in data-ish things.
  • IT Partners provides strategic coordination, extensive support, and ongoing training opportunities for MIT community members who provide local IT expertise (whether formal or informal) for MIT faculty, staff, and students. The program promotes information sharing across departments, labs, and centers (DLCs), and with IS&T, and allows for the effective leveraging of community resources through coordinated, cooperative, and voluntary efforts.


IT Partners, Westside Wednesdays


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