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Proving the Value of Visual Design in Scientific Communication

Karen Cheng (co-authored with Yeechi Chen, Kevin Larson, and Marco Rolandi). "Proving the Value of Visual Design in Scientific Communication." Information Design Journal Vol. 23, No. 1, July 2017: 80–95.

Abstract from the publisher's article webpage:

This study examines how scientists respond to visual design in scientific communications. Specifically, we determine the impact of visual design on the Graphical Abstract (GA), an overview figure that attracts potential readers and visually summarizes what a paper is about. We show that GAs designed in accordance with classic visual design principles significantly enhance readers’ first impressions of a paper. Well-designed GAs make papers seem more interesting, more clearly written and more scientifically rigorous. These results confirm that visual design enhances rather than detracts from the perception of intellectual and scientific competence.

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