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Charts and Color Over-Use

Rita Fainshtein shows examples of how over-usage of color makes charts harder to read:

Both graphs convey a message of ranking and grouping into categories.

The categories are shown in both cases in a color-coded manner instead of in a hierarchical format. As graph creators, why do we tend to create graphs with color categories?

1. The fear of being boring, one color seems uninteresting, and here we have both colors and icons. This is an “excellent” attribute for a storyteller.

2. Visually representing a group with similar characteristics makes sense.

But can such graphs tell us anything about groups? Are they easy to understand?

Let’s discuss a few aspects of those cases together:

Click through for the full story, including an alternative to using color as a way to categorize data.