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88

How about leaving out the second colour and instead put a border around each bar? That makes it obvious what the maximum value is, but it also keeps the clarity of the uncoloured negative space.


43

I have seen the following visualization used to represent down time and it has been effective: The illustration in the question requires too much thinking. The linear time line works well for a 24 hour timespan.


41

The main advantage of visualization is you are just showing the data and nothing else. Adding negative space just to show the ceiling sounds like Chartjunk. If you just want to show the maximum limit, show a thin line and write what it represents. download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups This is quite similar to what ...


39

For anyone mathematically inclined, the answer is to use a log scale. For non-mathematical people, you may be better off showing a break in the chart and then the extreme value.


25

A decent heuristic would be whether the negative space has meaning. If the bar represents something like speed or a metric of productivity, the blue part in your graph doesn't have an important meaning. In that case the bars are best left by themselves against the regular backgound. Just make sure that the user can distinguish between the value 0, and a ...


19

You could use logarithmic axes. This allows you to compactly visualize wide ranging variables. To illustrate, here is a very simple logarithmic visualization: 6 942 535 341 23 598 419 203 8 201 3 The length of each datum represented as a number is (roughly) log_10 of that number. So just printing the numbers in a ...


15

I've implemented something along these lines - here the 'plant' is split into sections and then you display the sections in a hierarchical order and display a count of the red / green from each section along with a histogram:


12

This chart belongs to the family of Bar Charts. However, there are a variety of bar charts that you can create, including vertical, horizontal, grouped, stacked, and overlapped. Grouped Stacked Overlapped As you see from the examples, your chart would correspond to the Overlapped bar chart, because values are drawn inside of each other.


12

From Wikipedia: In statistics, a histogram is a graphical representation of the distribution of data. It is an estimate of the probability distribution of a continuous variable. The emphasis is on continuous variable, as opposed to discrete variable. The histogram In the top histogram you've presented, the X axis is time, which is continuous in this ...


10

Your first solution is the classic one. The most of the timelines on the web are made with this solution. Just google "timeline" and take a look to the pictures. But you said, you only have a small area to use your timeline, so this could be tightly. I would use a version, where you have the line at the bottom of the page and just show up the events upwards. ...


9

An aside: COTS stands for Commercial Off The Shelf. Per the chart - it tells me nothing. Both the X and Y axis are so deep I have to following an enormous gulf in order to guess that the server was down roughly in the timeframe of 20:24-20:28. Why are there 4 lines in-between the hour lines when they only jump by 2 hours? My eye also has to wander a great ...


9

This is the way Pingdom chose to visualize it in their Public Status Pages: (Disclosure: I was the front-end web developer who implemented this graph back in 2010, but not the designer or originator of the concept.)


8

Stephen Few uses a Bullet Graph in his book Information Dashboard Design: The Effective Visual Communication of Data which I think could be used for your purpose as it's used to display several comparative and competitive values as well as target reaching at the same time. If you want to offset apples and oranges from an independent base, then you are ...


8

I think its better to leave the empty space as it is. Looking at the second graph, its obviously hard for a user to understand whether the blue ones are the fully filled or the green ones.. With the first one, its easy to understand how much data is there or not. But if you want to give a color in the empty space, i suggest you go for a transparent red.It ...


8

I've encountered this exact issue myself in a previous project and there were a few main things we decided on: Time—being continuous—should be shown as such, regardless of the fluctuations in local times In this case, your third example violates this requirement. All times should be correct so they can be correlated to real-life experiences e.g. "Why was ...


8

I would consider visualizing courses as individual units in the graph. After all, they are the building block of your degree. Displaying the graph this way will also give a more accurate view of your progress: You can see which courses you have passed, failed or skipped/remaining. You could also display more information about the individual courses on hover ...


8

UptimeRobot is a tool for monitoring server downtimes (I'm just a user, no other connection whatsoever). They're showing a small graph on the left side for the up-/downtimes for every watched server in the last 24 hours (I edited the image because none of my watched servers had a downtime in this period). If you click on one of the bars, you see details on ...


7

Assuming you mean the circles with the 62% and 85%... Doughnut Charts A doughnut chart (also spelled donut) is functionally identical to a pie chart, with the exception of a blank center and the ability to support multiple statistics at once. Doughnut charts are superior to standard pie charts as they provide for a better data intensity ratio. For ...


6

Let's search for an analog metaphor: the seismograph. Seismographs are those little devices that show when there's an Earthquake coming. Their operation principle is simple: there's a piece of paper which is moving forward, and there's a pen, which is fixed on a spring. When the Earth shakes, the pen moves, causing the pen to move sidewise. There are two ...


6

You should not rely on color to differentiate between items in the chart. While it's mostly fine if you have only a handful of items, differences between one shade of green and another are really hard to see. Especially if you need to relate a bar in the graph to a color in the legend over at the other end of the screen, it quickly becomes really hard to be ...


6

For "quick-glance" it is okay not only hide y-axis but also hide x-axis. An example are sparklines, although they fit more as inline graphics. The reduced version of a trend line is just an arrow. It is perceived really fast and any axes make it look complex. One thing you should consider is to use such graph in strong context as supplementary material ...


6

I think you could use sparklines as a compact visualization tool. This view is not precise, but it allows to view errors distribution and total error count for each process. More precise information is displayed in process specific screen. Light grey bar is an observation time window (a week or two, etc.). Dark line is an error occured within observed ...


6

I'm wondering if the success/fail values in your graph have the same properties as those generated by a continuous integration server: Successful builds are essentially boring Sequential failed builds usually have the same cause If so, you could bundle "runs" of the same status together in the chart, something like this: (The righthand five bubbles ...


6

I think I would not opt to put data on both sides of the line for any of the variants. At least, not the same kind of data. You could consider putting something like significant changes in the environment on the left side, while the right side has all the events that you're trying to interpret. (Vertical) direction is dependent on the use case: are you ...


5

When it comes to dashboards, choice is likely a good thing. Dashboards are intended to give information at a glance, in a format that is easy to understand. The issue here is that what is "easy" for one person to comprehend is often difficult for another. Indeed visualisations were created to assist understanding, but the fact is that for some people, ...


5

How to decide which chart to use is a topic of greater depth than can be covered here. I suggest reading Tufte's The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. It will cover a lot of elements of conveying information such as: What your chart is meant to communicate How people perceive shapes and lines in graphs Some comparisons between effective displays ...


5

John GB's solution is aesthetically pleasing, but scientific fields generally discourage scale breaks like those shown (and are often cliche examples of misleading graphics). Cleveland (1984) suggests to use a full scale break, making a separate panel, to further visually distinguish between the values. Jon Peltier has a similar example using ...


5

Try to model your diagrams first, I'm not sure colors really help to improve perception. I use 15 rows of data in Excel. Nice but not so usable. If it is not big problem for you, you can find a bunch of color tools in the topic. Also you can use reduced number of colors using their combination in way that guaranties that two neighbour colors are not the ...


5

Is there a reason to have a single point which shows the range? I would imagine that this could work better with discrete 'range start' and 'range end' points, like this: You probably wouldn't need to display the year in this context, as the year will be defined by plot as a whole. You will need to think about time zones, though... you may want to define ...


5

A few thoughts: Time-multiplex the data. You can cycle through the sets of statistics, displaying each set for about 10 seconds. That way, you can use the entire screen to show only one set. This is only good if it’s not particularly important for users to see every statistic all the time (e.g., the TV is intended to provide an occasional motivation boost ...



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