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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #1 
(This post is primarily directed to Stephen as I can see he is quite active on this forum, but please feel free to provide your own thoughts.)

I've recently read through Information Dashboard Design with great interest and have been eagerly applying the techniques it teaches.

I have been especially enthusiastic about sparklines and bullets graphs - both of which are completely new to me - as these provide a wonderful solution to many of the space-constrained designs I am tasked with creating.

However, I have noticed some inconsistencies with bullet graph design between the book itself and the design specification available from the Library section of this website that I hope can be clarified.

Figure 6-14 on page 130 shows a bullet graph with actual and projected measures.  In this image the projected measure is behind the comparative marker.  Page 5 of the design spec. shows the same graph (albeit with different colouring) but with the projected measure in front of the comparative marker.  In my opinion the former is superior as it presents a lower visual priority for the heuristic value of the projection, but as a programmer I would expect the design spec. to be treated as the 'official' version.

Yes, these are very anal things to be questioning.  But in adding these graph types to the PHP library I use for graph creation, I would like to ensure that the correct design is applied from the outset.

-- Tim

Posts: 802
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Tim,

Thanks for pointing out this discrepancy between the example in the book and the one in the design specification. This difference was not intentional. I agree with your preference for placing the mark for the comparative measure in front of the bar for the projected portion of the primary measure. I'll fix this in the Bullet Graph Design Specification document to eliminate confusion. By the end of today the revised specification will be available for downloading from the Library page of this site.

Stephen Few

Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #3 
I am late to the game here, but trying to catch up. 

I, too, am excited to begin using sparklines and bullet graphs, and was feeling pretty good about them until I reached Figure 6-52 on page 156.  It appears that the symbol markers that encode the comparative measures are incorrectly placed.  The marker for Gross Sales is close to $265, less Sales Allowance which is close to $4, less COGS which is close to $30 - nets $231, which is far different than the $180 (or so) marked in the "Gross Profit" graph (which should have a dark alert icon).  Am I missing something?

-Enjoying the book so far, almost ready to move on to "Now you See it".

Paul Solyntjes

Posts: 97
Reply with quote  #4 
Hi Paul,

You're right, because Gross Profit is calculated directly from the three preceding metrics, its target should be roughly calculable from their targets. The current target is a mistake. Thanks for catching this and letting us know.

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