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dgennetten

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
I'm working with an open-source UX toolkit called Grommet.  I am concerned with their use of ultra-narrow bar charts which make color discernment very difficult (I wont get started on their donut charts).

Here is an example: http://grommet.github.io/docs/meter-examples#17

To my eye, this stacked bar is way too narrow to clearly see the color segments.  From a color science perspective, it's generally determined that 2 degrees field of view (~thumbnail at arm's length)  is a minimum for accurate color difference perception.  I'm wondering if there's any work (here or elsewhere) that addresses this from the perspective of bar charts.

Thanks,

Douglas G.
acraft

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Posts: 51
Reply with quote  #2 
I think many on this site would tell you the chart you have has enough design flaws as it is that the color issue may be the least of your worries.

Is there a reason for using this chart instead of the "Annotated Horizontal Bar Series" (or the one with "Inline Labels"), also featured on your link?  Either of those would be an improvement, and mitigate the color issue you're asking about.
dgennetten

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Reply with quote  #3 
The only reason I was choosing the stacked bar was a need to convey parts-of-a-whole.  However, I think the example you mention is a better choice.
acraft

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Posts: 51
Reply with quote  #4 
Make sure you aren't prioritizing showing parts-of-a-whole over promoting useful comparison between the parts.

I get the importance of conveying parts-of-a-whole, but I've never understood the need to do so "visually".  There are many ways to convey parts-of-a-whole non-visually without limiting the chart's effectiveness, as 100% stacked bar charts and their circular variety do.
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