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Stuart Luppescu

Grade inflation at Harvard is a big joke at the University of Chicago, where I have spent 28 years. A popular T-shirt at the U of C reads, "If I'd wanted an A I would have gone to Harvard."

Jamie Briggs

I've read though this on a few different occasions now.
I hesitate, because I don't want to seem like I only post negative thoughts...

But...

Wow.
It's interesting to read through your thought process to get to the end state here, but omg... :o

This connected pictogram and it's ordering of data points is so complex and hard to understand that I wouldn't even know where to start. I've got dots, I've got bars, I've got angled bars, I've got a split down the middle, the angles are different directions...so many things that might mean something, or might not... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

We have essentially one number to report, and if we get crazy, three additional numbers that combine to make it. I'd be most inclined to present this simply as text, almost the way you have the chart title/subtitle now:

"Nearly Half of Princeton Graduates Earned Latin Honors in 2018"

People like to see numbers, so maybe a large "47%" with smaller text of "of Princeton Graduates Earned Latin Honors in 2018" to punch it up a little. Something as simple as:
https://imgur.com/2fk0DDX

If a graphic was really necessary...I'd do a simple stacked bar, similar to what they did, just...cleaner.

FWIW

Kaiser

JB: Thanks for the comment. The point of this post is to generate some discussion so that we can move forward. That said, I think you missed the bigger point, which is that pictograms aren't that great, so we actually agree on the bottom line. However, the point of the post is to acknowledge the proliferation of pictograms out there. A lot of designers like this format. What I'm trying to do is to improve it. The other point you missed (or, can be stated as "I missed") is that once the reader recognizes that the linked pieces are all 5 dots, then the reader can ignore the shape of those linked pieces, and by doing so, it gives the designer much more flexibility in terms of organizing the dots. Of course, this works only if the reader is willing to ignore those shapes.

Jamie Briggs

"I think you missed the bigger point, which is that pictograms aren't that great, so we actually agree on the bottom line"

Well that's a relief :)

"However, the point of the post is to acknowledge the proliferation of pictograms out there. A lot of designers like this format. What I'm trying to do is to improve it."

I think realistically, if we're going a pictogram direction, the original is the best version explored here. I do lament the proliferation of these, unit charts, waffle charts/square pies, etc.

"...once the reader recognizes that the linked pieces are all 5 dots, then the reader can ignore the shape of those linked pieces..."

This is where we definitely disagree. There's no way a user is going to disregard something as fundamental as the shape of an object in a graph. Such a difference in shape, if used, *should* mean something.

The connections themselves, the varied shapes, the symmetrical split, IMO, do the very opposite of what you've attempted to have them do. The visual clutter that they add is, to me as an end user, nearly insurmountable.

Instead simplifying the counting, you've now given multiple types of things to count, in multiple configurations, and out of order.

.

To back up to another part of your point:

"People often complain that bar charts are boring."

~sigh~

They do, and I'm so very tired of hearing it. It's not meant to be exciting. It's meant to effectively communicate data. If you want something exciting to draw people in, provide an exciting illustration, and exciting headline, etc. Then present the data clearly. I know you're not necessarily arguing that bar charts are boring, I just want to include my response to that sentiment.

"A trendy alternative..."

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

"The point of this post is to generate some discussion so that we can move forward."

Discussion definitely generated :)
thanks

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