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Visualization and the Value of Expectations

Alex Velez thinks about violating expectations in visuals:

This isn’t to say we should never deviate from normal graphing conventions, but we should have a good reason for doing so—a reason that makes up for any unintended consequences. 

What other design decisions might also take our audience by surprise—going against normal graphing expectations? I’ll outline a few. 

Click through for examples. One thing not explicitly brought up is that we follow conventions to reduce the amount of thought needed to understand something. For circumstances in which there’s a major benefit, you might want to run that risk. Also, there’s an argument in here that, at some point, it’s better to have something radically different than marginally different.