4. The Complexity Challenge: Presentation and Exploration

A data visualization should only be beautiful when beauty can promote understanding in some way without undermining it in another. Is beauty sometimes useful? Certainly. Is beauty always useful? Certainly not.

Stephen Few, from “Should Data Visualization Be Beautiful?”

The first step to finding the middle ground between radical minimalism and a more playful approach to information graphics and visualization is to remember that a good graphic realizes two basic goals: It presents information, and it allows users to explore that information. In other words, an information graphic is a tool for the designer to communicate with readers, and a tool for readers to analyze what’s being presented ...

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