The science behind good charts

Take part in our interactive experiment to boost your chart-making confidence
FT montage
FT montage
By Cale Tilford, Alan Smith, Caroline Nevitt Tuesday, 22 January 2019

It’s difficult to imagine a world of business communication without charts — but just how effective are we at reading them?

Charts use a variety of visual encoding methods — including position, length, area, angle and colour — to translate the data being presented into the pixels, or ink, on a page. But these encoding methods are not necessarily equally effective in allowing a reader to see variations between numbers. Let’s demonstrate that by putting your perceptual systems to the test...

Challenge 1 of 4: do the pies have it?

Pie charts are everywhere in the business world, but how good are they at allowing us to spot differences in data?

Which is the third largest segment in the pie chart?
You are about to see five pie charts. Answer the question for each one.
Icon credits: Rodolfo Alvarez, HLD and Gautam from the Noun Project
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