Browser Wars – A New Take on Streamgraphs

Because it’s Friday – PixelLabs puts a cartoon-ish spin on streamgraphs. Who will win??

[Thanks, @prblog]

Chart Type Used



  • This is horrible. It doesn’t matter who wins, we all lose.

  • Yeah I saw this on reddit where is thoroughly trashed.

    Someone said “somewhere Tufte is crying” another person said “I’ve met Tufte and he would enjoy this”. As I have never met the man, I’d say its somewhere in between.

  • It’s just a comic. People need to lighten up.

    I’m so sick of hearing that Tufte is crying. When he dies, he’ll be rolling over in his grave. You know, when I was at a major graphics dept for a summer, no one ever brought up Tufte except for once – “Tufte? Oh yeah, he’s alright I guess.”

  • @Nathan,

    Agreed. Tufte and his legion and his legions legion are really coloring the process. Is it possible to inform graphically without reading Tufte? Most definitely, it seems like his readings are the defacto licensing exam in the field.

    There is certainly a place for inefficient design, as long as the message is there. I’ve done a whole serious of images visualizing one singular data point. Fun, was high on my list of priorities with that one.

    I suspect it is here too.

    That said, I am really not a fan of the browser wars graphic.

  • It has Mozilla as a browser. Then, in 2005, Firefox comes into existence. The ‘flag’ for Mozilla continues. Is there actually a browser called Mozilla?

    Personally, I like the comic feature of it all. Of course, yes… I would to be able to derive data easier from it, but it conveys the point.

  • According to the footnote on the original graphic, Firefox was known as Mozilla pre-2005. I think the flag continues for the small proportion of people who have not upgraded their browsers – sort of like Internet Explorer 5.

    I’m not in love with the concept or anything. I just think it’s amusing.

  • if you did it in typical tufte style, that particular image probably wouldn’t have got voted up on reddit etc.

    the cartoony feel made the image more appealing in my book.

    one thing that does bother me though, the practise of not linking to original images, or blog posts. Nathan – hate to call you out on this, but you do copy images to flowing data. Perhaps better etiquette would be to make yourself a thumbnail and link to the original?

  • @Tim – I’m not sure what you mean. I _always_ link to the original image or blog post. I lead in with the credits a lot of the time. For example, I linked to PixelLabs in this post. Using images is standard practice across the Web – even with the biggest blogs in the world. No artist, designer, analyst, etc has ever asked that I take down one of their images. If anything, I get emails thanking me for the plug.

  • What I mean is: When *most* of an image is viewable on an aggregators’ website, then people are less likely to click through to the original sources.

    I guess people have different views on it and that is fine.

    My own view is that aggregators of content should show a “teaser” only and then people will visit the originator’s site if their interest is piqued.

  • example for you Nathan:

    I wonder, out of all the people who watched your work on gizmodo actually followed the link to flowing data and generated some eyeballs for your sponsors?

    What if gizmodo had published a smaller static image and made it clear that flowing data had the bigger animated version that is well worth a look?

  • I saw that and didn’t mind. In fact, I was pretty happy about it. They attributed the work to me, thousands visited FlowingData from Gizmodo, and thousands more visited came from other blogs that found me via Gizmodo. It’s win-win.

    I think people who want to know more will look.

  • Last one from me on this topic, just to further illustrate the point.

    Other blogs tend to link to wherever they see the main image, for example, this guy linked back to flowing data, not to the originator.

    So the originator didn’t benefit from the link love, as far as google is concerned.

    And so it goes.

  • While the originator of that link didn’t benefit from the link love, perhaps it was the commentary (via comments) provided at FlowingData that was the impetus for the link here rather than the original. Going back to the OG post, doesn’t really do much more than hey, spend fifteen seconds looking at the pretty picture.