Edward Tufte’s six principles, from Double Think.
- The representation of numbers, as physically measured on the surface of the graph itself, should be directly proportional to the numerical quantities represented
- Clear, detailed and thorough labeling should be used to defeat graphical distortion and ambiguity. Write out explanations of the data on the graph itself. Label important events in the data.
- Show data variation, not design variation.
- In time-series displays of money, deflated and standardized units of monetary measurement are nearly always better than nominal units.
- The number of information carrying (variable) dimensions depicted should not exceed the number of dimensions in the data.
- Graphics must not quote data out of context.
Their data visuals hit the right chord of function and beauty. Gauges really lives up to their claim of, “the basics done right”. If that isn’t enough, they’re owned by Github now. Sign up for an account and get chart inspired while you’re at it.