Assignment 6: Misrepresentation

design a visualization that is misleading while simultaneously an accurate representation

This is a design assignment. You are the data and visualization critic.

Choose a dataset that is related to an issue you care about. Design a visualization that is misleading while being a technically accurate representation of your chosen data set. You must use a real data set, and your misrepresentation should not be immediately obvious. Challenge yourself to depict a "misleading" story is just as clear and believable, if not more so, than the more accurate (if murky) story in the data; alternatively, explore what forms and aesthetics are possible with visual illusions.

Write a few paragraphs (250~400 words; hint: your design should be sufficiently complex) to explain your approach. If it helps make your design intention clear, include a correct representation; if it helps you generate ideas, consider datasets on controversial topics with divergent public opinion.

You may not choose from these common mistakes (find something more interesting!)

  • zeroing Y-axis
  • pie charts with too many labels
  • 3D bar charts
  • obviously unrelated dimensions
Create a digital version of your visualization and accompanying text, and post it on your GitHub homepage. (PNG, PDF, HTML, MOV is all fine.) Your visualization should be production quality; it is the final product (i.e., this is not a sketch.)