Viz - Visual Primitive Ranking over decoding

Utah Teapot


Cleveland and McGill studied what people are able to decode most accurately and defined and ranked visual primitives in the following list.

  1. Position along a common scale e.g. scatter plot
  2. Position on identical but nonaligned scales e.g. multiple scatter plots
  3. Length e.g. bar chart
  4. Angle & Slope (tie) e.g. pie chart
  5. Area e.g. bubbles
  6. Volume, density, and color saturation (tie) e.g. heatmap
  7. Color hue e.g. newsmap

The ordering does not result in a precise prescription for displaying data but rather is a framework within which to work.

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Data Visualization - Visual Primitive

Visual Primitive are the basic block of visual. See also: shapes Point, Bar, Line, ... color, position, animation length ...

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