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Junk Charts

Junk Charts
Via Twitter, Bart S (@BartSchuijt) sent me to this TechCrunch article, which contains several uninspiring charts. The most disturbing one is this: There is a classic Tufte class here: only five numbers and yet the chart is so confusing. And yes, they reversed the axis. Lower means higher "app abandonment" and higher means lower "app abandonment". The co-existence of the data labels, gridlines, and axis labels increases processing time without adding information. A simple column chart shows there is almost nothing going on: I suspect that if they were to break the data down by months and weeks, it would be clear that the fluctuations are meaningless. The graphical scaffolding, or what Tufte calls the non-data ink, should provide context to help readers understand the data. Worse, the context needed to interpret "app abandonment" is sorely missing. You might argue with me. That definition is an emperor with no clothes. It seems possible that they are counting user-app pairs.

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feltron Mapping Neighborhoods in Boston, San Francisco and New York. Hand-drawn animation of 43 years of the Sun’s weather. (via kottke) William Stone Branching Drawings (identified by wowgreat)