In the FlowingData forums, Ryan asks a really good question about data design:
What simple rules should we all follow when we present data?
I came up with three rules of thumb a while back, but surely there are more. Context, clarity, and real data are clear winners, but what else is there? Those are really broad and can be broken down a few ways - like reducing the number of variables could contribute to clarity. If you have any ideas, please do post your ideas to the forum thread.
Ah yes, I can hear you flipping through your Tufte books.