Present information graphically to improve comprehension.
National experience using archived traffic detector data for monitoring highway performance.
- Present information graphically to improve comprehension by all audiences. The audience for transportation performance information can include a wide range of transportation practitioners, agency mid- and upper-level managers, elected officials, business leaders, and the media. Simple charts and graphics are more easily interpreted by this diverse audience than complex data tables and lengthy text descriptions. Data collectors and analysts may be adept at interpreting complex technical data because that is their primary job function; however, other non-technical audiences may only be able to devote 30 to 60 seconds to understanding key report elements. Several practitioners have mentioned the "spouse test," in which they asked their spouse (who has a non-technical background) to review and interpret certain graphics or charts that illustrated transportation performance.
- Summarize projects with one-page of text and graphics. Another "rule-of-thumb" is that every research project or activity should be summarized with a single page of text and a picture or graphic.
Author: Shawn Turner, Rich Margiotta, and Tim Lomax
Published By: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration
Source Date: 10/1/2004
EDL Number: 14059
Other Reference Number: FHWA-HOP-05-003URL: http://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/lessons_learned/index.htm#toc
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