I’d like a slice of futility in my graph

Some people have an opinion about information design. Stephen Few really dislikes pie charts – 14 pages of illustrative and explicatory text about the weakenesses of pie charts.

This isn’t a new theme. Aside from past critcism from Edward Tufte and other information design specialists, Michael Janssen lumped the pie chart in with Jeff Spicolli, Stifler and other ne’er do-wells: 

“…Pie charts are the bad seed of the graph world. They aren’t very useful, hang out a lot, and don’t help you much. The worst thing about pie charts is that they aren’t even good at the thing they’re supposed to be the best at: comparing relative sizes.”

Junk Charts pointed me to an infographic from the Onion: America’s Most Popular Charts, which really depicts pie charts at their most useless:


[tags] pie charts, graph, information design [/tags]

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