I want to talk about some design principles. We're going to start with some really simple ideas to how people perceive things that they're looking at and then we'll move into some things like visual hierarchy and how that relates to how people interpret information, whether it's a map or some other kind of graphical thing. As long as it's graphical, it's basically the same kinds of principles. Okay. When you look at this screen right now, it's blank. Right. So, your brain is kind of looking at this going, What am I supposed to focus on? What am I looking for? When I introduce this text, your brain automatically starts to scan it and interpret it. Okay. So, whether you're reading it or you're listening to me seeing speech and text versus graphics, the point is is that you're processing that information sequentially. You start at the beginning and you go to the end. So we're doing this obviously visually, you start here and your brain scans through to the end and processes that information sequentially. Now, your brain is just really fast and you're really good at it so you don't even think about it. You've gotten to a point where you're not looking at each letter individually and going S-P-E-E-C-H, that spells speech, that means this like talking. Now, you're doing it quickly, but the fact is that you're still doing it sequentially. So, why am I talking about this? Because that's not what happens when you look at a map or any kind of graphical information. So, if you look at something like this, this is some painting I found online and it says, I'm joking, I know what it is. I've actually seen the Mona Lisa in person and it's pretty impressive. It's not as big as you think it is. Anyway, so when you look at any kind of graphics like this, your brain is not starting in the upper left corner and scanning across left to right and then going down to here and scanning, left to right and down. It doesn't work that way. I actually participated in a study in the psychology department here at the University of Toronto, where they did eye tracking of the way people interpret maps, and so they show us a map and then see where our eyes went. I thought Mona Lisa is a little more fun to start with, but I'm guessing I haven't done eye tracking on this particular. But if you're like me, probably what happens and you're not even thinking about this. You're not doing it voluntarily, but you're probably starting when you first look at this, you focus on the face. That's what humans are programmed to do. Then, you might focus on the eyes within the face and then the mouth, and you're interpreting meaning from that, based on what those look like. Then, you might look at the complete form of the person, you might look at the fact that the hands are put in a certain way and they're a little bit lighter than the area around them. Then, you might look at the background and interpret that. The fact that there's sky and water and a little road there. So your brain is probably doing something like this. So your eyes and your brain is going like this and like this and down here and over to here, scanning the sky, coming back, looking at this. Okay. You get the idea. So this is known as processing synoptically. Synoptically, instead of sequentially. In other words, your brain is looking at the whole thing, more or less at once. Why is this important to map design? Because if you change any one part of that whole image, you can potentially be changing the meaning of the entire thing. Just think of it from the point of view of the Mona Lisa. What if for example she was frowning instead of this kind of mysterious smile she has? Maybe she's got a big frown. Okay. What if she wasn't clasping her hands? Maybe she was holding something. What if there was storm clouds and lightning on the background or something? Right. Any one change to the painting would change the meaning of that painting. Why is she frowning? Why is she upset? Why is she holding that ball? Why is it raining? So that would change the meaning of what it is, and it's the same thing with the map. Believe or not. The symbols that you use, the colors that you use, the placements of objects, things like that affect the way people process that. Their eyes are looking for the thing that's the most important. They're looking for the subject of the map and if it's obvious to people, then they won't even think about it and they'll just be able to interpret it and everything will be easy. But iif it's not obvious, then it becomes much more difficult. They start to get frustrated and then they start doing things that you don't want. Like questioning whether you even know what you're talking about or whether this data is any good or why am I even looking at this map? Then of course, that's far from ideal. So, the design principles that we can talk about are visual hierarchy, figure ground, contrast, legibility, and balance. So, we'll explore each one of these. Some of them in a little more detail than others, but they're all important in terms of your overall map design.