2D but not 3D: Choosing your Presentation Visuals

Table of Contents

    Banner pie charts

    When you decide you want to present data, visualization is important. Simplicity is a concept that is often forgotten because of the technology that is available to us. There is the decision to use 2D or 3D visualization, and often 3D wins because it “looks cool.”

    Just because it looks cool does not mean that it should be implemented. There are a variety of applications for 3D visualization and surface charts, though not always the best option in the presentation of data.

    This is because you experience such problems as:
    – Message distortion
    – Difficulty to read
    – Bars or columns not having a clear ending

    When you factor these problems into data visualization, the last thing you want is for people to be unable to read through the bar or column chart. 3D visualization doesn’t make sense here, which is why even respectable science journals don’t use them.

    Focus on What You Want People to See

    When you decide you want to present data, you have to look at what it is you are presenting. It may be financials, statistics, or something else. If the 3D aspect of the bar is going to blur the numbers and thus potentially skew the data, it is not going to have the desirable effect you want.

    It’s just preferable to stick to simple chart charts in this case!

    Think about it the next time you create a dashboard or a report for your company.