Visualization Blog

Ideas, Papers and Thoughts on the field of Visualization

Redesigned Visualizations

with 8 comments

Lately, we have been seeing a high number of ‘bad’ visualizations in media. Over at Infosthetics, they even had a contest to identify the ‘Most Ugly and Useless Infographic‘. It was worth a few chuckles but it definitely made one realize the importance of effective data visualization. It is unfortunate that some people have to make decisions based on such visual representations.

More than just looking at bad visual representations, there seems to be an increasingly constructive trend of redesigning graphs/visualizations that seem to get very popular in media. I wholeheartedly support this endeavor and hope to see more. It is naturally easy to criticize other visualizations, but redesigning it to ‘put your visualization where your mouth is’ takes courage. Here are a few examples.

Original Visualization – Infamous Fox News Pie chart
Redesigned Visualization – Jon Peltier’s take on the same data
Original Visualization- Health Care Reform Chart
Redesigned Health Care Visualization
Original Visualization – GE’s The cost of getting sick
Robert Kosara’s Redesigned Visualization
Original Visualization – National Geographic’s The Cost of Care
Jon Peltier’s Redesigned Visualization

If you have seen any other interesting visualization critiques, please send them my way and I shall be happy to update this post.

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8 Responses

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  1. Redesigning visualizations is good practice: it forces you to figure out what exactly is wrong and how to fix it. It also shows how to apply some of the abstract ideas about visualization, so it can be quite useful to people to see how (and if) those make a difference.

    I wonder when people will start doing the same for SciVis ;)

    Robert Kosara

    January 9, 2010 at 7:05 pm

  2. re: the healthcare visuals. While the new version conveys the information better, for sheer shock value, the original still draws my eye better. And when it comes to healthcare costs in this country, the more shock, the better!

    Jay

    January 10, 2010 at 9:30 am

  3. Neat examples, thank you for putting this summary together. I particularly like Robert Kosara’s redesigned cost of getting sick diagram.

    Meta Brown

    January 10, 2010 at 6:31 pm

  4. jeromecukier

    January 11, 2010 at 9:52 am

  5. Wow. I had not seen the original chart/table. Your redesign definitely helps understand the data. The original is just confusing and the background doesnt really help convey age. Thanks.

    visualizeit

    January 11, 2010 at 10:57 am

  6. The redesigned healthcare visualization is like night and day with the original.

    I didn’t see any dashboards here, but I do know the difference between good and bad dashboards is displaying the right metrics (KPIs) and making those visualizations ‘actionable’.

    Martin E

    March 18, 2011 at 3:59 pm


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