Visual Explanations: Tips on figure editing from Filipodia

August 12, 2017

R.T. Thomason, Ph.D., Figure Editor


Introducing ‘It Figures with Dr. Bec’ 


Most of you have heard the age-old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” This holds true for manuscript figures. As a graduate student, when I was putting together my first manuscripts and posters I was told that you should be able to look at a figure and pull out the pertinent information the author is trying convey, without reading any text. I have held that close to my science heart all these years.


When putting together a figure, put yourself in your audience’s shoes… “Would I be able to fully grasp the importance of my data based on what I have displayed here?” If your answer is no, then you need to head back to the drawing board. If you cannot express the importance of your data in a visual story, you’ve lost your audience’s interest.


Next time on It Figures with Dr. Bec, you we will delve a little deeper into audience analysis when it comes to designing your figures.