Minimalism in information visualization: Attitudes towards maximizing the data-ink ratio

Ohad Inbar, Noam Tractinsky, Joachim Meyer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Motivation - To evaluate people's acceptance of the minimalist approach to information visualization. Research approach - Eighty seven students, divided into three experimental conditions, rated their preference for two different graphs displaying identical information - a standard bar-graph and a minimalist version. Both versions were taken from Tufte (1983). Findings/Design - The results indicate a clear preference of non-minimalist bar-graphs, suggesting low acceptance of minimalist design principles such as high data-ink ratio. Research limitations/Implications - Subjects had no prior experience with the minimalist graph and therefore familiarity might have an effect on the results. Originality/Value - The research contributes empirical results on people's preferences to the mostly theoretical/ideological debate over approaches to the presentation of quantitative information. Take away message - People did not like Tufte's minimalist design of bar-graphs; they seem to prefer "chartjunk" instead.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECCE 2007 - European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics
Subtitle of host publicationInvent Explore
Pages185-188
Number of pages4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2007
Event25th Anniversary Conference of the European Association for Cognitive Ergonomics, EACE - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 28 Aug 200731 Aug 2007

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series
Volume250

Conference

Conference25th Anniversary Conference of the European Association for Cognitive Ergonomics, EACE
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period28/08/0731/08/07

Keywords

  • Tufte
  • chartjunk
  • information visualization
  • minimalist design

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