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87

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.


34

You could: Remove the axis line entirely. If the diagram is not to scale, then the axis line itself is the confounding/confusing element of the UX that is causing failed perception. Use simple labels attached to sections that are set off from each other only in the sense of a list. You could put a larger space between items that are spaced farther apart, ...


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 ...


20

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 ...


17

I have graduated as a Petroleum Engineer, so perhaps I can help you here. This is a domain specific problem and the right solution depends on the kind of equipment you're using in the oil well. Let me give you a few examples here. It's slightly technical but I'll try my best to explain it clearly: Example 1: Casing Installation You do well casing before ...


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 ...


12

Broken axes are only useful if they are intended to be used sparingly. If, as you say, the axis is broken everywhere, it makes more sense to use a table instead describing the relevant points. +-------+-----------+------+ | Depth | Structure | Icon | +-------+-----------+------+ | 0 | Oil Rig | A | | 6100 | Foo Pipe | F | | 6200 | Bar Pipe ...


12

Start by figuring out what you want to communicate Since you are (rightly) looking for a reasoned, non-hacky way to lay this out, you can start with first principles. 1. Understand the layout pattern The layout you're trying to use is a common one....I call it the mini-map or navigator pattern although there is probably a more correct UX term for it. ...


11

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. ...


11

I would say in this case usability should take a back seat to accuracy. Graph B implies a polynomial function of sorts that you have sampled at specific locations. If that is not the case, you should always go with A. For a great comparison of the two, see: http://vizwiz.blogspot.com/2011/12/when-you-use-smoothed-line-chart-your.html


10

UX Horror: Making users think Here some reasons why it's bad: Color is not helping: It's very hard to tell just by looking at the Contacts chart if blue/green portion matches the number, there isn't any clear sign to indicate this. I think that colors don't make a big difference in this kind of chart where they don't have a direct relationship with ...


9

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 ...


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

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 ...


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

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 ...


7

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 ...


7

If you expect to be limited to choices from two groups only, this lends itself nicely to a matrix or heat map visualization. This is especially true if all combinations of the items are in play. The heat map can be less useful when dealing with sparse groupings (like really sparse). In that case, you would probably have a cleaner visualization with ...


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

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, ...


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 ...



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