It's summer and as usual things slow down, which is also reflected by my activity in writing new blog posts. In order not to be completely forgotten I prepared this short post about rather simple improvement on schematics. I have to say I really like making schemes as they give the most opportunities to show creativity.
This particular post is going to deal with schematics that overuse text (I actually wonder if they can still be called schematics then). I will show you how to nicely turn them into an effective graphic that is easy to comprehend at a first glance.
As an example I am going to use this scheme from Watanabe et al. 2016, where the only graphic authors used are arrows and boxes:
Such representation does the job and you can follow the protocol, but the text is rather small making it harder to read and you can easily call it boring, which will most likely cause reader to ignore it. Overall, it can be done more efficiently, with addition of some graphics:
1) I introduced centrifugation tubes making it easier to follow which part of the sample was used for further centrifugation.
2) Clearer organization and use of different font sizes (not too many though!) drives attention to more important elements
3) Removing all the unnecessary text gave the overall schematic more clarity and some "breathing" space.
I would like to finish this blog post with offering my help with making your schematics - do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have. I am happy to offer my advice and help out with your work.