Election visuals 4: the snake pit is the best election graphic ever
Bloomberg made me digest these graphics slowly

Making better pie charts if you must

I saw this chart on an NYU marketing twitter account:


The graphical design is not easy on our eyes. It's just hard to read for various reasons.

The headline sounds like a subject line from an email.

The subheaders are long, and differ only by a single word.

Even if one prefers pie charts, they can be improved by following a few guidelines.

First, start the first sector at the 12-oclock direction. Like this:


The survey uses a 5-point scale from "Very Good" to "Very Bad". Instead of using five different colors, it's better to use two extreme colors and shading. Like this:


I also try hard to keep all text horizontal.


For those who prefers not to use pie charts, a side-by-side bar chart works well.


In my article for DataJournalism.com, I outlined "unspoken rules" for making various charts, including pie charts.





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I marked a student project where they had used 5 pie charts for different years to show changes over time. They got a very bad mark for use of graphics.

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