New answers tagged charts
How about a grid? You could freeze the latest test in a top row and then sort by date in the categories for latest vs. initial, latest vs. last? That would display the category results in each column below the latest. Depending on how many tests and how many categories, you could show this in one screen.
Use the right visualization Pie charts represent constituents of a whole. As you've discovered, this doesn't work when numbers can go into the red. Use bar or line charts for more flexible (and arguably more informative) visualization.
An inner ring showing liabilities and an outer one showing assets with the ratio of their thickness's set by the ratio of the total liabilities to assets. (Don't comment on the ugly colours, just a picture to help explain what is in my head) But I think in general that a pie chart is probably not the best choice for representing such data.
This type of graph shows min, max, and average values together, in a visually simple way that doesn't require separate lines and labels for each type of value. (Min is zero, I assume in your case.) I don't know the name of this type of graph, but Google seems to think it's a "min-max-average" graph.
I think you shouldn't mix average and maximum information, even in the screen. You said you don't have a mockup of the toggle buttons for avg and max lines on the graph, but I believe that you have something like the following: download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups My suggestion is to have 2 different graphs for max ...
I like your initial toggle idea. Can you set it up in a way that it shows as an Average vs. Max toggle for on screen display, and exports as 2 separate side-by-side charts on a PDF? That way you've maximized readability for each display method.
It depends on what pattern you're trying to draw out. Lines in a graph communicate intermediate values, slope, and how fast something is changing. Too small of a ratio makes it hard to see the changes over time. Too large of a ratio is hard to judge because visual effect does not scale linearly with the change in value, so it exaggerates the trend. This ...
Quoting from Stephen Few "Now You See It", 2009, pg 170: [...] no single aspect ratio is always best. The choice of aspect ratio depends on what you're trying to see. It is sometimes worthwhile to experiment with the aspect ratio to see if something meaningful comes to light that wasn't noticeable before. William Cleveland took the time to test various ...
The general guideline I use is: If everything is important then nothing is important. If all the elements on your screen are fighting to gain the user's attention (with colours, bold fonts, prominent positioning, flashing lights, or animations) then it becomes harder to see what is important. Having said that, if all of your UI has a particular colour ...
Whether your chart is "Stylish" or "Pops" enough should only be a part of the decision making process for chart colours. Other things that should be taken into account include being able to distinguish series for colour-blind users, being able to distinguish series for users with low vision (poor contrast sensing), being able to understand data for users ...
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