We rely more and more on infographics to tell the truth about lots of data. But do they always succeed?
I recently came across a post on Design Language News by George Kokkinidis where he redesigned a chart published on The Guardian about lawsuits in the mobile business. The chart published on Guardian places each company’s name inside a colored circle arranged in a four by five grid. Each circle is then linked to each other with a straight arrow, according to the lawsuits between each company.
The redesigned chart by Kokkinidis places each company name on the perimeter of a circle linking each company name, based on the same information. The companies appear in no particular order and the amount of arrows to and from each company are placed next to each other resulting a far more clear and concise representation.
The problem with Guardian’s badly designed chart is that in can lead to all sorts of wrong conclusions. For instance, Apple looks like it’s in the middle of this battle while making Nokia the most aggressive and active company in this chart look a lot less active. On the other hand Kokkinidis’s chart reveals exactly what is actually going on.
This case is clear example of how a well designed infographic inevitably reveals the truth underlying a set of data.
Here are the charts to see for yourself:
The one by The Guardian:
And the redesigned version: