Members Only

This is Misleading, This is Not Really Misleading

October 4, 2018


The Process  / 

There’s an internet joke — Godwin’s Law — that says if an internet discussion goes long enough, the probability that someone mentions Hitler approaches a probability of 1.

The visualization equivalent, which I hereby declare as Yau’s Law, is the following: If a discussion about a chart goes long enough, the probability that someone claims the chart is misleading approaches 1. It doesn’t matter how well-designed, how thorough, or how thoughtful the work is.

The truth is that all charts are misleading. In some sense.

To access this issue of The Process, you must be a member. (If you are already a member, log in here.)

The Process is a weekly newsletter where I evaluate how visualization tools, rules, and guidelines work in practice. I publish every Thursday. Get it in your inbox or access it via the site.

You also gain unlimited access to hundreds of hours worth of step-by-step visualization courses and tutorials, which will help you make sense of data for insight and presentation. Source code and datasets are included so that you can more easily apply what you learn in your own work.