Redesigning marketing charts’ graph about the biggest challenges to creating a positive customer experience
The original bar chart hides the most striking change in plain sight
This graph appeared in my LinkedIn feed early this morning
What I see in order
- Contrast creates interest: I notice the dark right-hand bars are sorted descending, making me assume a negative trend
- I hone in on the first bar, notice 50%…of what?…see the slightly smaller 45%…then find the label at the bottom of the pillar
- I start reading the labels, glancing at each pair of vertical bars
- Consumer engagement catches my eye: its pair features the most prominent difference in height
- I spot the legend, telling me the left bar is pre-Covid and the right is post-
- I then read the headline and subhead of the chart
- Lastly, I’m left to do rough visual math to determine the differences in percent for each challenge
Don’t make me think. Stop wasting my time. Show me the point, not the data.
- The bright red shouts ‘look at me first’
- This is the category with the most drastic shift: Consumer engagement up 50% — from 28% to 42% claiming it is a top-3 challenge
- Budget is next at 10%
- Lastly, Technology is green since those surveyed claim it is less of a challenge
All things considered
- A slope graph is great at visualizing the difference in value for two states of a small number of categories
- Since these values could be greater than and less than 0, the chart needed a baseline. I aligned the pre-COVID and post-COVID month ranges to that line to further instill its importance.
- Instead of displaying the before and after percentages, I opted to highlight the more important data: the change as a percent
- Instead of displaying all categories, I opted to highlight the three that changed more than 2%
- I used color to note negative and positive change
Below is a side-by-side comparison of both charts
This was another delightful exercise in using the most appropriate chart type, and maximizing data-ink for the purpose of helping the reader more quickly understand what the author wanted to share.