Friday, May 16, 2014

The Data Visualization Checklist

Stephanie Evergreen and Ann K. Emery have just published a 'data visualization checklist' that may be helpful to evaluate your own charts. I'm adding it to the list of recommended resources that I give to my infographics and visualization students every semester. Here's how they describe the current version of the checklist (they are planning to develop it further):
We compiled a set of best practices based on extensive research, tested against the practical day-to-day realities of evaluation practice and the pragmatic needs of our stakeholders. This guidance may not apply to other fields. In fact, we pilot-tested the checklist with a dozen data visualists and found that those who were not in a social science field found more areas of disagreement. That’s ok. Their dissemination purposes are different from ours. Their audiences are not our audiences. You, evaluator, will find clear guidelines on how to make the best use of a graph’s text, color, arrangement, and overall design. We also included a data visualization anatomy chart on the last page of the checklist to illustrate key concepts and point out terminology.
Stephanie is the author of Presenting Data Effectively: Communicating Your Findings for Maximum Impact. Although this book is not exclusively about visualization, but about information design in general, it's worth your attention.

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