My colleague Alex was the first person I heard refer to the underlying structure of a graph as its “skeleton.” This includes all the features that give form and shape to your graph, but that ideally—like bones—we never even really notice or see. The skeleton frames and structures our graph, but doesn’t include the data itself.
If we don’t take the time to organize the skeleton of a chart thoughtfully and intentionally, our data won’t be appropriately supported. To an audience, something will always seem a little bit amiss.
Click through for a Halloween-themed visual update.