There are so many bad charts published every single day that redesigning some of them would be a full time job. Many are involuntarily funny. And there are some dangerous and stupid ones. I live in Portugal, a small country that only gets international press coverage when something goes wrong. Like now. Public debt is … Read more
Did you know that turkey consumption soared after the launch of Microsoft Windows 1.0? And did you know that this growth trajectory lasted until Windows 3.0? Coincidence? I don’t think so… I find this amusing. Sorry. By the way, don’t try to be funny when making charts. Most of the time you’ll fail, specially if … Read more
I often read that you should make your charts “memorable”. Well, I’m not sure if this is a good advice, specially when people use “memorable” and “professional-looking” in the same sentence. It’s OK if you are a graphic designer and you want to spend some time crafting an unique chart that draws the attention of … Read more
Creativity is such a positive quality that it is almost painful to argue that you shouldn’t try to be creative when making charts. But you shouldn’t. Really. If you are too creative and the users can’t understand the chart in a few seconds they will dismiss it as useless. If you break basic conventions (time … Read more
(They don’t have to be explained.) [Update: Sally Bigwood said it better here].
Microsoft Office Online Training is the perfect example of what you should not learn about charts and data visualization.
Templates and defaults are very useful when you are not a subject-matter expert. You don’t have to know much, but if you choose the wrong templates you are on the wrong track. Cooking is a good example. I don’t know how to cook and, frankly, I don’t want to learn. But my wife is coming … Read more
It’s very easy to use charts to support false arguments, distortions, omissions or outright lies. But you can use words and statistics too. If you want to deceive nothing will stop you. (Required reading: How To Lie With Charts and How to Lie with Statistics). Simple lies are often easy to spot and not very … Read more
If you want to sell better data visualization practices you can’t use the same approach with everyone. Marketers use archetypes and like to create stories around them like if they were real people. Their marketing messages are then tailored for Jane (archetype #1) or Theresa (archetype #2). Let’s try this. Allow me to introduce you … Read more
You know, I would really love to quit my day job and spend my time learning about information visualization, write about it, help people understand why good information visualization skills are relevant for their business. Now, I could try to speed up things by selling some crappy affiliate products, fill up the blog with Google … Read more