DataViz Tip #24: Use Eye-Candy to Attract Attention

In the purest data visualization world, things that detract from the comprehension of the data are often frowned upon. Things like 3D charts, visual effects, and other purely aesthetic enhancements are often considered a no-no.

This point of view is perfectly valid and even valuable in a world where you create scientific reports or visualizations for the clients to consume themselves and make strategic decisions.

But in this day and age where attention is one of the most valuable and hard to get currencies, a pleasant, tasteful, understated chart will often have a hard time standing out in the constant stream of information. That’s why we need to analyze every situation, and based on the intended scenario sometimes put dogmas aside and sprinkle some fairy dust on our creations. After all, it’s better to be criticized by the snobs but deliver the message to the target audience, than to be praised by a few for the work no one noticed.