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What Makes a Great Visualization?

While Tufte's principles have been influential to many data visualization engineers, there is still a lot of debate about whether it's always better to eliminate elements that they would consider as junk chart.

In this post I will talk about what makes a great visualization, we will ask us is chart junk always a bad thing.

When we think about what visualizations are used for, our most important goal might not always be to just communicate the data in the most efficient possible way.

Sometimes the most memorable visualizations are ones that can really grab the attention of the reader and make them take a closer look.

Especially, when the visualization wants to tell a compelling story, this could be important as a key goal should be to hook the reader.

The best way to do this might not be with a line or bar chart, but might use, aesthetically pleasing, supportive element to convince what the data is showing.

This could call for new and innovative types of visualizations that people have never seen before.

Important goals for visualization

  • Grab users' attention
  • Encourage further exploration
  • Build new and interesting types of visualizations All of these factors are not caught by Tufte own estimation of what makes a well-designed visualization.

With these in mind, it’s good to know that Tufte’s principles are not always hard and fast rules for data visualizations. Design is a highly subjective field, but you should still use your own intuition of when elements are added to a visualization of when they take something away.

Thanks for reading, let me know what you think about it in DM. See you.