Define “Better”, Part Deux

Previously we looked at dataviz examples comparing designs which may or may not work well.

These examples are a little more straightforward; in fact, a couple of them are downright wrong

Example 1:

Choice A Choice B


Returning to the line chart idea, here Choice B is using the categories as the X-axis where you’d typically find the date/time breaks.

Example 2:

Choice A Choice B


Stacked area charts can be quite tricky; they should be used carefully and can be very effective when used correctly.  When not, watch out.

Example 3:

Choice A Choice B


When is a lot of pie wedges too many pie wedges?  Clearly Choice B has too many to show effectively.  Conventional wisdom is any more than 4 or 5 wedges and the chart can be difficult to read, though this is of course affected by the size of the chart.  If you’re using a full-page size, then Choice B would probably be just fine.

Example 4:

Choice A Choice B


Ahhh, 3D pie charts…  the chart every dataviz person worth their salt LOVES to hate!  As illustrated in Choice B, they’re definitely the best way to show that 4.8 is actually greater than 8!


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