Discussion 5: Declutter This Chart
Data Visualization = Visual Communication
“Numbers have an important story to tell. They rely on you to give them a clear and convincing voice.”
Visual communication is the transmission of ideas and information in forms that can be seen. A frequent source of clutter in data visualization comes from unnecessary graph elements: borders, gridlines, data markers, and the like. These can make our visuals appear overly complicated and increase the work our audience has to undertake in order to understand what they are viewing. As we eliminate the things that don’t need to be there, our data stands out more. Let’s take a closer look at the benefit that decluttering can have on our data visualizations. Here’s a good article to review
Your discussion tasks will be to:
Evaluate the chart and data file below.
Identify what’s wrong or could be better.
Create a new chart that would be a better data visualization for this data and its purpose.
#1 Evaluate the Data & File
Evaluate this chart below and the data file. Mentally gather a vision of how you want to declutter the Data: Declutter the Data File
#2 Identify What’s Wrong or Could be Better
What visual elements could you eliminate?
What other changes would you make to what is shown or how it’s shown to reduce the cognitive burden?
What major points do I want to highlight?
Am I presenting this information as simply as possible?
What is my goal? What message do I want to communicate?
How might others interpret this information?
#3 Create New Chart
Declutter the existing chart using the data: Declutter the Data File
Put some thought into the presentation of the data to create clarity and boost understanding.
Create a new chart that would be a better visual for these data and this purpose.
Consider even changing the chart type.
#4 Share with the Class
Share your chart with your classmates, upload the image into your post so everyone can visually see it.
Share the name of the chart type you created.
What tool or software did you use to create the chart?
What is the main point of the chart? (is that labeled on the chart?)
What visual communication is your chart sharing?
What visual story do you want to tell the reader from your chart?