Sometimes the y-axis doesn’t start at zero, and it’s fine

Posted to Design  |  Tags: ,  |  Nathan Yau

It’s true. Sometimes it’s okay for the y-axis to start at a non-zero value, which is why Johnny Harris and Matthew Yglesias for Vox tell people to shut up about the y-axis.

The video might seem contradictory to what I said about bar chart baselines, but we basically say the same thing. The context must match the visual, charts that don’t use length as the visual encoding can start at non-zero baselines, and take a second before you sputter a knee-jerk reaction.

Favorites

The Most Unisex Names in US History

Moving on from the most trendy names in US history, let’s look at the most unisex ones. Some names have …

10 Best Data Visualization Projects of 2015

These are my picks for the best of 2015. As usual, they could easily appear in a different order on a different day, and there are projects not on the list that were also excellent.

Who is Older and Younger than You

Here’s a chart to show you how long you have until you start to feel your age.

Famous Movie Quotes as Charts

In celebration of their 100-year anniversary, the American Film Institute selected the 100 most memorable quotes from American cinema, and …