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Visualizing election polls

A colleague points me to these supremely ugly pie-like graphs by Richard Riesenfeld and Geoff Draper. On the other hand, who am I to say they’re ugly? I’m sympathetic to the goal of “exposing complex relationships that are not obvious by usual methods of statistical analysis.” And it’s hard to argue with “Eighty-eight percent said they enjoyed using the software and 71 percent completed all the tasks without errors.” I’ve certainly never performed such an evaluation of my own graphical methods, instead relying, Tufte-like, on my introspective judgment.


  1. Jon Peltier says:

    "On the other hand, who am I to say they're ugly?"

    Don't sell yourself short. Anyone with even one eye can tell they're ugly. And the javascript that pops up their charts resizes my whole browser, which is ugly behavior even for javascript.

  2. Peter says:

    While Tufte relied on his considerable intuition, Cleveland did a bunch of actual studies, and found that … well, pie graphs stink.

  3. Andrew says:


    Cleveland had some pretty good intuition too!