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The Right Amount of Detail on a Visual

Mike Cisneros answers a tricky question:

How much context, then, is necessary to include, so that we have an understandable (but un-cluttered) visual, presented with enough background information for the viewer to grasp its meaning, with the key insights and recommended actions emphasized?

When we’ve addressed this question in the past, we’ve relied on the always-true, if sometimes unsatisfying, response of, “It depends.” Every situation is unique, and there’s no checklist or scorecard you can use in every circumstance to ensure that you’ve hit the perfect amount of detail.

Read on for two factors upon which it depends.