perception

8 posts
Visualization color picker, based on perception research

The colors you choose to visualize data can completely shift what you convey to a reader. With an ominous color palette, a graphic meant to be light and fun comes off the wrong way. Or the other way around. You wouldn’t use Comic Sans for your résumé (right…?), so choose colors that fit the topic. Viz Palette, made by Elijah Meeks and Susie Lu, aims to make the choosing part...

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Use dual axes with care, if at all

Dual axes, where there are two value scales in a single chart, are almost never a good idea. As a reader, you should always question the source when you see a chart that uses such scales. Zan Armstrong explains with a recent example. One of the best descriptions I’ve heard for data viz is that: when the data is different, the viz should look different and when the data is...

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Square pie chart beats out the rest in perception study

Many hate pie charts. Others love them. I think they’re useful but have limitations. Most of these are just feelings though, maybe accompanied by an Edward Tufte quote. We need facts. Robert Kosara and Drew Skau provide some in their recent studies on how we read pie charts. There appears to be a good chance people don’t read the things correctly. But I found Kosara’s follow-up more interesting. He dug...

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Human perception for visualization

There is visualization in practice and there is visualization in theory and research. Each should inform the other, but it typically doesn’t happen that way. Kennedy Elliot, a graphics editor at the Washington Post, provides a rundown of one branch from the research side of things: human perception. There are quite a few studies. Tags: perception

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