Friday, April 07, 2006

Pie Charts Must Die. Mmmmm. Pie.

The disadvantage of pie charts for displaying data ...

"I'm a web analytics junkie. I admit it. I use no less than 4 analytics programs. One is a log analysis program provided by my hosting provider, one is a log analysis program I run locally, and two are tag-based, hosted analytics programs. I just got my invite for the free Google Analytics program (formerly Urchin) which is partly what inspired this article.

If you are interested in web customer experience, you should become a web analytics junkie too. The data you can access are a primary, continuous source of feedback that you can use to improve your performance. The key is to understand what you need to pay attention to and what you can afford to ignore. You need to figure this out for yourself primarily because every situation is unique. Focusing on these broad issues is beyond the scope of this article, but there are a number of books, websites and forums that can help you. My intention is simply to stress the importance of obtaining, analyzing and acting on this information.

The presentation of data is not a new field. However, I think it is useful to occasionally re-visit well-worn topics for the benefit of those who may not have been around when we originally beat these horses to death. I don't want to go into the entire, broad topic of data presentation. Volumes have been written on the subject. A good place to start would be Edward Tufte's Visual Display of Quantitative Information. It may sound boring, but it really isn't. Just about anything written by Tufte is worth a look in my experience.

I want to talk about pie charts primarily. If you are using pie charts on your web site, in your PowerPoint presentations, in your corporate documents, etc....STOP. Just stop."   continued ...   (Via ICE - Improving Customer Experience)

Hard To Read Data - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

Hard To Read Data


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