Horizontally or vertically challenged? No, I am not referring to your weight or height. I am talking about how you read and interpret graphics.
How you set up a document/table/etc. impacts how easily you are able to access, interpret, and react to the data/information you are reading. I love the search engine result graphic for flights on the Hipmunk travel website, which interestingly enough, my husband doesn’t find easy to read. He prefers the results as they are displayed on Kayak’s data visualization graphics.
I recently set up a checklist document with columns and rows for a client who wanted to keep track of repeating annual payments that often went unpaid because they were not regular monthly expenses. I quickly typed up a basic layout option for her based on what I understood she wanted to do (see below):
She took a look at the table and said, “Oh, I had pictured it looking like this.” Below is the solution she had envisioned:
How does this affect you/your family?
Example: Your child’s weekly schedule
If you are setting up a weekly schedule for a child, find out which layout she finds easier to read: Option A or Option B?
While organizing and productivity strategies have underlying commonalities, there are inherent differences in how they are presented and perceived by the viewer’s mind. Find out what makes the most sense to the person who is going to use the information in order to facilitate the organizing and productivity process.
Image credits: © Paula Berman Organizing