I know some of you have been following this topic closely, so I thought I’d point out another article.  This time, visualizations seen in the media are redesigned by members of the community to be clearer and more informative:

http://visualizeit.wordpress.com/2010/01/08/redesigned-visualizations/

It’s a little bit ironic, of course, that I had to stare at that post for awhile before figuring out what I had to do in order to see the redesigned graphic :)

But I would take these as examples of the chart police doing good, thoughtful work.  And the examples they are dissecting are just laugh-out-loud funny.

Rob Collie

One of the founding engineers behind Power Pivot during his 14-year career at Microsoft, and creator of the world’s first cloud Power Pivot service, Rob is one of the foremost authorities on self-service business intelligence and next-generation spreadsheet technology.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Very interesting examples, thank you for pointing them out.

    The healthcare reform graphics are both incomprehensible to me. A hazard of viewing a very complex graphic on a very small screen, I suppose.

  2. “The healthcare reform graphics are both incomprehensible to me. A hazard of viewing a very complex graphic on a very small screen, I suppose.”

    No kidding. The problem I think is that the human brain has a hard time keeping track of such jumble. Larger doesn’t help here because it just means that your eyes becomes tired darting back and forth in an effort to maintain the entire image in the brain. The other redesigned charts are well done, I think.

    The original pie chart is really bad. First, it’s 3D (which distorts the true size of the slices) and the slices add up to more than 100%. Must be a hyper-pie!

    1. There’s a comment on the visualization blog about the original healthcare graphic having more shock value than the redesign. It was a good point – that the designers may not have intended the image to be used for the purpose of understanding the details, but instead wanted to make the point that the process is very complicated. And it takes only a glance to get that message.

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