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Choosing Colors for Visuals

Lewis Chou has some advice for choosing color schemes for data visualization:

When making a chart, we should use the same color scheme for the same metrics. And we need to avoid the excessive color interference to the user.

For example, when we do sales analysis, we usually analyze the indicators of sales and payment collection. Then, when we do data visualization analysis of different dimensions for the same indicator, we recommend using the same color system for sales and payment collection. It means that the sales amount can be indicated by the yellow-green color, and the return amount can be indicated by the blue color accordingly. After following the principle of consistency of indicator color, the user can quickly understand the meaning of the indicator expressed by the current data visualization chart according to the color distinction.

Color is a pre-attentive attribute: we sub-consciously pay attention to it before we consciously observe it. That has advantages but it also comes with responsibilities.