A small step for interactivity
Interactivity as overhead

Return of the barrel

Back in 2008, I wrote about this unfortunate chart by the Guardian (link):


The barrel imagery interferes with communicating the data. The green portion looks about the same size as the red portion when the number is four times smaller.

This week, the staff at WSJ publish a similar chart in this article about North Dakota fracking.


They kind of recognize the distortion and utilize a horizontal cutup instead of following the edge of the barrel. But it doesn't really fix the problem if you look at how 3 percent at the top and at the bottom of the barrel are portrayed.

It's not clear to me why they don't use a simple stacked column chart with horizontal text labels.


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Why even stack it? Why not just a regular old bar chart?

I understand everyone wants catchy graphics...
So put an illustration of a barrel (or something better...) next to your chart.

Not rocket science.

Mike Marshall

form before function. they are trying to capture eyes before minds.

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