Our brain and eyes are better at comparing a singular dimension such as strength but it is much harder for use to calculate surface area (height x width)screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-3-33-25-pm

You might want to compare area of a circle but they will generally calculate height and width the area of circles is harder to distinguish compared to squares. Using circles levels always leads to underestimated size difference

Three most common charts in use:

Time Chart – Stock market

Bar Chart – one dimensional

Scatter Plot – variables on each axis

What they’re used for

Bar Chart


(Are Movie Sequels Profitable?, 2011)

  • Used a lot
  • East to use
  • Familiar
  • Quick to compare information
  • Nominal data splits into different categories
  • Comparing data across categories

Line Chart


(Line Graph, n.d.)

  • Its popular as bar charts
  • Used to compare individual numerical data points
  • A sequence of values
  • Primary use to displaying trends (stock price)

Pie Chart


(Pie Chart, 2015)

  • Used to show relative proportions or percentages of information
  • If company lots od data use bar chart not a pie chart
  • Comparing two pie charts together creates to much work for the viewer
  • Limit the number of wedges to your pie chart to 6
  • More than six you should consider a bar chart

An important note in this lecture points out how we as designers often design based on aesthetic which creates design that it is good; but for design to be great must be able to make comparisons easier.


Are Movie Sequels Profitable?. (2011). Retrieved from https://public.tableau.com/en-us/s/blog/2011/08/are-movie-sequels-profitable

Line Graph. Retrieved from https://creativevip.net/resource/line-chart-psd

Pie Chart. (2015). Retrieved from https://support.squarespace.com/hc/en-us/articles/206543267-Using-the-Pie-Chart-Block


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