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Coloring graphs.

Coloring scheme I.

Coloring scheme II.

At the top you can see two different frames for visualizations of information during different times of a particular simulation. I’m not going to tell you the details of the simulation, nor what the graphs are going to represent (this is still in the ‘top secret’ category: it is work in progress and a lot of stuff can change before we decide to go public with this). In the meantime enjoy the pretty pictures. What I’m trying to figure out is which color scheme looks better. Warning: don’t expect to see graphs like this in any of my papers in the near future.

Here is the deal: coloring schemes produce emotions in the recipient. Different coloring schemes give people different feelings about information. For example, red is usually associated to hot, while blue is associated to cool. However, a blue star is hotter than a red star. The red/blue association is probably due to fire/ice. Fire tends to be reddish, and ice is kind of bluish, but when we see things according to the radiated energy at different frequencies we get a completely different picture.

When presenting scientific information, choices like this one often present themselves. And it makes a difference on how the recipient audiences perceive the quality of the work… or even better: the coolness factor of the work.

The big questions are: what emotions do the above graphs give you? Which one do you like best? Why?

In the end they are conveying sufficiently similar raw information, but though I know this is true, I feel different about it. They have a different artistic feel to them. I just thought I’d share some of these issues and maybe even get some feedback.

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