Memorable Charts? Forget About It!

This too much discussed paper “found that people’s accuracy in describing the embellished charts was no worse than for plain charts, and that their recall after a two-to-three week gap was significantly better. In addition, participants preferred the embellished charts“. OK, let’s take a deep breath. Apparently, all things being equal, you should use a … Read more

Don't Try to Be Memorable (Grumpy Old Man's Guide to Making Charts)

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

Don't Try to Be Creative (Grumpy Old Man's Guide to Making Charts)

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

Fibonacci, working memory and information overload

More data = better decisions, right? Not always. When you are getting more information than you can process within a specific time period information overload starts creeping. Confusion, stress, anxiety and low motivation usually follow. Can we prevent that? In general, the more information you have, the more accurate your decisions will be. But at … Read more