I'm developing a UI for displaying production equipment (pumps, tubing strings, FCDs, etc.) in an oil well.
Most oil wells have equipment that is very unevenly spaced. For example, there might be a few thousand meters with nothing, then a dozen items or so, then some more space, then a few more items, etc.
My solution to this is to display a "squished" schematic, where each distinct depth gets its own row in the schematic. I've removed the actual schematic for confidentiality reasons but it is just to the right of the scale and shows icons for all of the equipment.
Unfortunately, this has confused a few people in usability testing. Also, QA logged this as a bug (Inconsistent Axis Scaling). I'd really like to keep this not-to-scale representation because it uses the screen real estate very effectively and because we're also planning on developing a separate to-scale view.
I could put zigzag-type indicators to show where the axis is "broken", but technically the axis is broken everywhere, so it doesn't look great.
I could also just spell it out at the top (NOT TO SCALE), but that seems hacky.
Or maybe I shouldn't worry too much about this until we implement our separate to-scale view, because that'll help make it more obvious.
I used to drive across Western Canada every summer with my family. There are long stretches with essentially nothing. To help pass the time, my mother would make lists of the funny town names we'd pass through (Piapot, Regina, Moosomin, etc.). If I wanted to show those towns on a diagram, it might look like this.
Are there any other ways to make this more clear?