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      Bars, Pies, Doughnuts & Tables – Visualization of Proportions

      Proceedings of the 28th International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2014) (HCI)

      BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2014)

      9 - 12 September 2014

      information visualization, proportions, user studies

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          Abstract

          Visualization of proportions is one of the most common visualization types encountered in the media. Stacked bar charts, doughnut and pie charts – the most common visualizations of proportions – have all keen advocates and critics, and there are conflicting results about their performance. This study presents an experiment with a basic but ecologically valid task to evaluate the performance of these techniques. The result shows that the stacked bar chart is superior to doughnut and pie charts in task performance. However, 75% of the participants regarded pie charts as the most pleasing or second-pleasing to use, and almost half of the participants (44%) perceived the pie or doughnut chart to be the fastest visualization to understand. Only six participants recognized the bar chart as the fastest technique, and half of them still preferred the pie chart over them. This subjective preference at the expense of performance may explain why pie charts are so widely used in spite of being criticized.

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          Most cited references 6

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          Graphical Perception: Theory, Experimentation, and Application to the Development of Graphical Methods

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            Displaying proportions and percentages

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              The Relative Merits of Circles and Bars for Representing Component Parts

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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                Visual Interaction Research Group (VIRG)

                Tampere Unit for Human-Computer Interaction (TAUCHI)

                School of Information Sciences, University of Tampere

                FIN-33014 University of Tampere, Finland
                Contributors
                Conference
                September 2014
                September 2014
                : 240-245
                10.14236/ewic/HCI2014.38
                © Harri Siirtola. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of the 28th International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2014), Southport, UK

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                Proceedings of the 28th International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2014)
                HCI
                28
                Southport, UK
                9 - 12 September 2014
                Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
                BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2014)
                Product
                Product Information: 1477-9358 BCS Learning & Development
                Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
                Categories
                Electronic Workshops in Computing

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