Saturday, July 11, 2009

Graphs That Suck

Many years ago in the early days of the web, I learned about web site design by reading "Web Pages That Suck: Learn Good Design by Looking at Bad Design". It is a delightfully easy beginner level crawl through web site design, filled with examples ranging from excellent to awful with a capital 'A'. I would recommend the book today except that the examples that make up the bulk of the book are way out of date.

For Business Intelligence the equivalent would be a book called something like "Graphs that Suck", and Stephen Few's Perceptual Edge blog is a good place to find examples of this genre. Recently they posted a spectacularly bad example, a pie chart put out by Business Objects to promote a user conference. I will not repeat the critique, however I will say that if this is an example of what Business Objects thinks their software should be used for, I would be leery of using it!

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