I like charts. Not only are charts a useful way to disseminate complicated information in an easily digestible from, they also provide a lovely veneer or sophistication for otherwise vapid content. As most interesting topics already have charts about them I figure there was little left to me but to make some charts….. about charts.
As you can see above, we have you basic chart. As opposed to text, it will usually grad your reader’s attention for a while but that quickly drops off. Given that I am a mustelid of science I am keenly interested in ways to improve this ratio. Let’s take a look at chart #2.
As you can see this has already yielded better results, not only do we have two things to look at now, we also have different textures, colors and even a little explainer of the X-Axis. But what this chart clearly lacks is a sense of pizazz or style. Criminally under-mentioned in scholarly literature, pizazz serves as a vital way to hold audience while the information slowly drills its way through their Cro-Mangonate skulls. Additionally excel provide a variety of ways to add such flair. Without further ado I present chart #3:
As you can see by adding some pizzazz we have greatly increased viewer retention. While there are several effects that have been added, I will focus on the most notable ones. The first thing that catches the eye about this chart is doubtless the addition of the purple “funky” line with decorative end caps. Such end caps provide viewers with an eschatological sense of satisfaction as it gives them with a clear starting and termination on their data journey. Notice also how the use of the unusual line markings help them stand out and draw the viewer to their logical end point. The other addition canny observers will note is the use of a tasteful bevel around the border. This offers a sense of refinement the previous charts lacked. While there are other minor additions they don’t grab the reader as significantly as the aforementioned strategies.
While much more can be said about the art of chart-making I sadly have only time to cover these basics. I also should note a disturbing number of people haven’t been asking me about the difference between stoats and weasels. As a rule of thumb, stoats generally grow upwards from the base of the cavern floor while weasels grow downwards from the ceiling of a cave. Please reference the below illustration for examples.
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