Remove ads

Introducing the LemonFools Personal Finance Calculators

Layout of a poster - ordering text boxes

Straight answers to factual questions
Forum rules
Direct questions and answers, this room is not for general discussion please

How would you order the text blocks on an Academic Poster (see post for more details)

Clockwise
2
8%
Anti-clockwise
1
4%
Rows
12
50%
Columns
9
38%
Other (please explain)
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 24

Clariman
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1100
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 12:17 am
Has thanked: 588 times
Been thanked: 283 times

Layout of a poster - ordering text boxes

#214815

Postby Clariman » April 13th, 2019, 12:42 pm

As part of my studies I am creating an academic poster (A1 size) where I will have 6 blocks of information (some with images). I am using a Portrait layout so it is taller than wide, and I plan to organise the blocks in 2 columns. How would you order them?

Note that the poster will be displayed and multiple people may be reading it at the same time. It would be preferable to read them in order but that is not 100% essential. Each block will be numbered 1 to 6 to prompt reading in order.

Option 1 - Clockwise
Block1 Block2
Block6 Block3
Block5 Block4

Option 2 - Anti-clockwise
Block1 Block6
Block2 Block5
Block3 Block4

Option 3 - Rows
Block1 Block2
Block3 Block4
Block5 Block6

Option 4 - Columns
Block1 Block4
Block2 Block5
Block3 Block6

Itsallaguess
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 3186
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 1:16 pm
Has thanked: 958 times
Been thanked: 1940 times

Re: Layout of a poster - ordering text boxes

#214818

Postby Itsallaguess » April 13th, 2019, 12:51 pm

Clariman wrote:
As part of my studies I am creating an academic poster (A1 size) where I will have 6 blocks of information (some with images). I am using a Portrait layout so it is taller than wide, and I plan to organise the blocks in 2 columns. How would you order them?

Note that the poster will be displayed and multiple people may be reading it at the same time. It would be preferable to read them in order but that is not 100% essential. Each block will be numbered 1 to 6 to prompt reading in order.


Option 3 -
Rows would
feel best
to me.

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

Dod101
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 2723
Joined: October 10th, 2017, 11:33 am
Has thanked: 480 times
Been thanked: 985 times

Re: Layout of a poster - ordering text boxes

#214825

Postby Dod101 » April 13th, 2019, 1:19 pm

I have no idea if an academic poster is any different from any other poster but my choice would be clockwise and I have voted accordingly.

Dod

quelquod
Lemon Slice
Posts: 601
Joined: November 5th, 2016, 12:26 pm
Has thanked: 29 times
Been thanked: 59 times

Re: Layout of a poster - ordering text boxes

#214836

Postby quelquod » April 13th, 2019, 1:52 pm

I prefer rows as being most intuitive but noting D’s comment above if clockwise I’d prefer a hint (arrows maybe?) to guide my ageing brain.

FWIW I’ve a bit of experience reading these things as industrial sponsor with a local uni and it confuses old guys like me when there’s a couple of dozen all with different styles, colours, detail and the rest. Less is More as they say.

mc2fool
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1216
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 11:24 am
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 258 times

Re: Layout of a poster - ordering text boxes

#214844

Postby mc2fool » April 13th, 2019, 2:23 pm

There was some usability research done yonks ago on the order of items in two columns and it was determined to be far more easily readable to have:

a    e
b f
c g
d h

(i.e. your item 4) than

a    b
c d
e f
g h

and, indeed, the former is how Windows Explorer presents files in List view. However, that research was on lists of textual items and I don't remember if it was also considered applicable to blocks of info. It may be worth your while trying to find the research, although right now I can't remember any hints to help you locate it.....

mc2fool
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1216
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 11:24 am
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 258 times

Re: Layout of a poster - ordering text boxes

#214858

Postby mc2fool » April 13th, 2019, 3:26 pm

mc2fool wrote:There was some usability research done yonks ago on the order of items in two columns and it was determined to be far more easily readable to have:

a    e
b f
c g
d h

(i.e. your item 4).

Oh, and of course, that's how telephone directories (anyone seen one of those recently?!?) and other such lists used to work. All a matter of reducing the amount of back-and-forth eye movements and avoiding zig zagging eye patterns.

swill453
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 2129
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 6:11 pm
Has thanked: 125 times
Been thanked: 547 times

Re: Layout of a poster - ordering text boxes

#214864

Postby swill453 » April 13th, 2019, 3:55 pm

mc2fool wrote:There was some usability research done yonks ago on the order of items in two columns and it was determined to be far more easily readable to have:

a    e
b f
c g
d h

(i.e. your item 4) than

a    b
c d
e f
g h

and, indeed, the former is how Windows Explorer presents files in List view. However, that research was on lists of textual items and I don't remember if it was also considered applicable to blocks of info.

As soon as you select any of the "icon" views in Windows Explorer (which could be thought of as "blocks of information with images") it flips to displaying it by rows.

Scott.

MyNameIsUrl
2 Lemon pips
Posts: 175
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 1:56 pm
Has thanked: 231 times
Been thanked: 22 times

Re: Layout of a poster - ordering text boxes

#214887

Postby MyNameIsUrl » April 13th, 2019, 7:30 pm

Itsallaguess wrote:Option 3 -
Rows would
feel best
to me.

others it
would like
prefer this

88V8
Lemon Slice
Posts: 405
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 11:22 am
Has thanked: 45 times
Been thanked: 50 times

Re: Layout of a poster - ordering text boxes

#214913

Postby 88V8 » April 13th, 2019, 11:19 pm

mc2fool wrote:There was some usability research done yonks ago on the order of items in two columns and it was determined to be far more easily readable to have:
a    e
b f
c g
d h

(i.e. your item 4) than

a    b
c d
e f
g h


I'll second that: the Haynes manuals are in columns, easy to follow. The manual for my AMC Rambler is in rows and one really has to concentrate to avoid muddle.

V8

mc2fool
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1216
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 11:24 am
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 258 times

Re: Layout of a poster - ordering text boxes

#214915

Postby mc2fool » April 13th, 2019, 11:31 pm

MyNameIsUrl wrote:
Itsallaguess wrote:Option 3 -
Rows would
feel best
to me.

others it
would like
prefer this

. We're                     but
not delineated
talking blocks
about of
sentences information

The general rule is, as I say, to keep down the amount of back-and-forth eye movement and zig zags, so:

1 4
2 5 and 1 2 3
3 6 4 5 6

only have one "zag" whereas

1 2
3 4 and 1 3 5
5 6 2 4 6

have two.

However, this is all really very context dependent. Ordered lists, like phone directories, are best in columns, whereas if you were putting together a poster of anything cyclic (e.g. the water cycle, life of a butterfly) then arranging your blocks in a circle would be good.

If you really want to research it, Clariman, try looking for relevant eye tracking studies (not website design ones, of which there are plenty), but what I'd really suggest is that -- assuming you are doing this on a computer and it's easy to generate the different variants -- you just make a couple of different ones that look good to you and then field test them on some of your target audience....

malkymoo
2 Lemon pips
Posts: 201
Joined: November 23rd, 2016, 9:45 am
Has thanked: 11 times
Been thanked: 43 times

Re: Layout of a poster - ordering text boxes

#214932

Postby malkymoo » April 14th, 2019, 8:59 am

I originally voted for rows, but it has occurred to me that:

Block 1 Block 2
Block 4 Block 3
Block 5 Block 6

would require minimum eye movement.

swill453
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 2129
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 6:11 pm
Has thanked: 125 times
Been thanked: 547 times

Re: Layout of a poster - ordering text boxes

#214936

Postby swill453 » April 14th, 2019, 9:13 am

malkymoo wrote:I originally voted for rows, but it has occurred to me that:

Block 1 Block 2
Block 4 Block 3
Block 5 Block 6

would require minimum eye movement.

That would depend on the shape/size of the blocks. A circular layout could also possibly "win", 1 x horizontal movement + 4 vertical, vs 3 x horizontal + 2 x vertical.

(I'd still vote for left-to-right rows myself :-)

Scott.

UncleEbenezer
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 3136
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 8:17 pm
Has thanked: 317 times
Been thanked: 463 times

Re: Layout of a poster - ordering text boxes

#214949

Postby UncleEbenezer » April 14th, 2019, 10:59 am

Within the past week I've read Private Eye and The Economist on paper. Like other newspapers and magazines, they use a slightly more fluid design to accommodate somewhat-heterogenous contents, but the basic layout is what's evolved through centuries of publishing and very clearly works best. Columns.

The exception to that is of course the special case where the contents span the entirety of the physical page, leaving just a single column. Commonly seen in books, and now configurable by the individual user in flexible on-screen media.

mc2fool
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1216
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 11:24 am
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 258 times

Re: Layout of a poster - ordering text boxes

#214952

Postby mc2fool » April 14th, 2019, 11:05 am

malkymoo wrote:I originally voted for rows, but it has occurred to me that:

Block 1 Block 2
Block 4 Block 3
Block 5 Block 6

would require minimum eye movement.

But it requires four 90deg changes in eye direction. That sort of snaking down layout may be appropriate for some contexts but I don't think I've ever seen it recommended as a generally good layout. :)

However, it's not just about any one thing but rather the combination of all for the context and content. Consider newspaper columns; it would appear that the short lines require lots of zags but in fact the whole of each line is in the field of focused view so requires no or very little lateral eye movement, with the column being read just by moving downwards (although I suspect the origin of narrow columns lies in type setting and having to juggle lots of little bits of lead...). There's an interesting summary of research, from 1881 onward, looking at optimal line lengths on paper and on screen here http://www.humanfactors.com/newsletters/optimal_line_length.asp.

But that is all a bit OT, as it's referring to just text and, as I say, I think for Clariman the best thing would just be to try out a couple of variants on some of his target audience. I think it's quite difficult for folks here (inc me) to judge the effects of layouts of an otherwise un-described A1 poster with blocks of info, including images, on a forum like this just shuffling around the words Block1 Block2 etc.... :D

DrBunsenHoneydew
Lemon Slice
Posts: 428
Joined: November 10th, 2016, 10:04 am
Has thanked: 32 times
Been thanked: 107 times

Re: Layout of a poster - ordering text boxes

#214981

Postby DrBunsenHoneydew » April 14th, 2019, 2:54 pm

All the examples on this site of downloadable templates for Powerpoint (the poster is a single "slide") are in columns https://www.posterpresentations.com/free-poster-templates.html

Image

Clariman
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1100
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 12:17 am
Has thanked: 588 times
Been thanked: 283 times

Re: Layout of a poster - ordering text boxes

#215023

Postby Clariman » April 14th, 2019, 6:26 pm

Thanks everyone. I thought I'd rattle off a poster in no time but it is much trickier than I thought. If the structure was in simple blocks then I'd go with columns. However the images are an additional complication! I'll have a look at that poster site to see if there are any useful ideas or formats but I'm nearly there.


Return to “Does anyone know?”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests