Good visualisation is not a pretty component but a pretty information. When designing a visualisation, we must focus on what we want people to see, not the component's overall appeal.
Designers like to look at visualisations and charts as a whole picture, a piece of design. By doing so, they focus on the general aesthetics and visual appeal of a graph.
Visualisation as a tool is about providing a context for information that is worth surfacing and attracting attention. Usually, the best pieces of information to notice on the charts are trends, outliers, groups, clusters, etc. They make a fraction of the whole visualisation component. Thus it is hard for a good it to be visually appealing as a whole.
Well designed visualisations consider:
- Good data as a foundation.
- Role of perception at influencing what we notice or how hard it is to understand visualisation.
- Visual tasks and how we decode graphs.
- Channels that represent the data.
- Intention and bias of people putting.
See more → Data Visualisation by Kieran Healy