Edward Tufte

Evan Samek
Jun 21, 2013 · 2 min read

I recently had the pleasure of being treated, by my employer, to an all day seminar with Edward Tufte.

To be honest, when the opportunity presented itself to go, I vaguely recognized his name. For those who don’t know who he is and what he does, from Wikipedia:

Edward Rolf Tufte (/ˈtʌfti/; born 1942) is an American statistician and professor emeritus of political science, statistics, and computer science at Yale University.He is noted for his writings on information design and as a pioneer in the field of data visualization.

Here are some short quotes (some paraphrased for context) that I enjoyed:


“Clutter and confusion are not attributes of data – they are shortcomings of design.”


“To speak of ends without means, agency without agents, actions without actors is contrary to clear thinking”


“If you like overheads, you’ll love PowerPoint.”


“The minimum we should hope for with any display technology is that it should do no harm.”


“A metaphor for good information design is a map. Hold any diagram against a map and see how it compares.”


“There are only two industries that describe their customers as users: illegal drugs and software companies.”


“You want an open mind, but not an empty head. Just because something is a new or fashionable alternative, doesn’t mean we need to get stupid when judging it.”

    Evan Samek

    Written by

    User Experience Designer, Engineer & Composer http://about.me/evansamek

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