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There are books and books about good practice in data visualisation. It sounds like you're showing detailed data to professional audiences in a dashboard-like context, so I'd suggest Information Dashboard Design by Stephen Few - the latest edition of which includes design for mobile devices. It's a good book with clear practical advice. (be warned though ...


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We're not as good at judging differences in area as we are in length. We use length as a proxy and therefore tend to underestimate differences in areas. For this reason, a circle that actually has 2x the area of another appears too small because our brain is relating their radii, which differ by a factor of 1.4x. There's are interesting attempts at ...


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Tufte dealt with this extensively. See: The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Envisioning Information and others. Some principles of graphical integrity : The representation of numbers, as physically measured on the surface of the graph itself, should be directly proportional to the numerical quantities represented Clear, detailed ...


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If you, the creator, is unsure, how will the reader know which it is? Short answer: the value should be linked 1:1 to the amount of colour on the page. So in your example, it should be area. But there's more than that: you also need to avoid misleading cues that might make a reader read it incorrectly, and you need to know why you're using area instead of ...


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I'd say the area. Optically, a square with a side two times as long shows as an area 4 times as big. Casual observers will relate to the area, even without reading your legend. A nice example is this legendary graph by xkcd's Randall Munroe: (huge, legible version)


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In my opinion the area (D), not each side (E). If you are using a side of length 2, then the area would be 4 times the value and you would have a very overlapped graph. (E) When you have a normal bar graph (A), the data is linear, and the with of the bar is just for esthetic. (B) In those cases the area again is representative of the data because the ...



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