There are a ton of tiny decisions that go into designing a graph

There are a ton of tiny decisions that go into designing a graph. From the thickness of an axis line to the positioning of text to the inclusion or omission of data markers and labels, each of these individual aspects unites to create our overall visualization. They can amalgamate to form a positive or lackluster experience for the viewer. Our tool frequently makes many of these calls: we give a graphing application some data and turns around a graph. Our choice that follows is what to change (sometimes constrained by what can be changed) and what to allow to remain the same. See the example Ex. Story Telling Data Vis_Regional Car Sales Example.docxActionsMinimize File Preview.

Let’s dissect a specific example, considering how we can make little changes to improve upon default output from a proprietary tool and create a more desirable experience for our audience. Examine the graph below, which shows the number of cars sold by dealership over time for a given region, then complete the following steps.

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STEP 1: There are likely several changes you would like to make to this graph. First, identify one little change that you think would positively impact the design of this visual.

STEP 2: That may have been a difficult feat to limit your modifications to one, so here’s your chance to expand upon that: what are 3-5 more little changes you would make to improve this graph?

STEP 3: Download the data and graph. Quarterly Car Sales by Dealerhip.xlsx  Download Quarterly Car Sales by Dealerhip.xlsxRemake the visual applying the changes you’ve outlined (and any others you’d like to incorporate) in the tool of your choice.

STEP 4: Imagine being asked to create a single slide focusing on this data to fit into a broader deck to be shared with the management team who oversees these dealerships. How would that affect what you show or how you choose to show it? Create this slide in your tool of choice, making assumptions freely for the exercise.

Share your commentary from Steps 1 and 2 and upload your visual from Step 3 or 4 for your solution. This exercise is based on Let’s Practice! Exercise 5.2. Let’s Practice is a supplementary and OPTIONAL textbook for IT359.

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