Thursday, November 02, 2006

Chart Spinning

Does the orientation of graphics make a difference?

In this morning's mail was the following humor.

Unfortunately, rotating 180 degrees still portrays the same trend. Only difference is that the speakers will be standing on their heads.

90 degrees in either direction might have worked though.

Why? Because most of us naturally read left-to-right so assume that time is meant to pass that way as well in graphs. Hence the use of the horizontal axis to represent time in trend charts. Fighting a 'natural law' like this makes interpretation and analysis extremely difficult if not misleading. But possibly a shorter meeting.

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