Taking time with visualisation
Becoming a more sophisticated reader
- Don’t jump to conclusions about the things you think you have derived from the display
- Meaning of the data: representativeness of the data, assumptions
- 3D displays
- Truncated y-axis – bar chart always bad, line chart and scatter to be aware of
- Aspect ratios
- Geometric calculations
- Mapping projections
- Pie charts exceeding 100%
Appreciation of context
- Challenges/constraints that might be faced by the designer
- If the font is tiny on your screen, maybe it was intended primarily for printing as a poster and would have been the right size if consumed in its native format
- Maybe a project only had access to x% of the data at the point of being published and couldn’t, for example, plot it on a map because there was no spatial data available at the time
- Maybe the project you are reading was aimed at specialists, people with domain knowledge, so your struggles are not a reflection of bad visualisation or any deficit on your side, it just wasn’t intended for you.
- You might not find it interesting, other people might. You have the right not to read/play with a visualisation!
- What would you do differently? How would you do better?