Tips for Effective Visualizations


I’m taking a Social Network Analysis class on Coursera . . .

The first week’s lecture included advice from Edward Tufte on visualization and graphic design. I thought I’d already posted this a couple of years ago after attending a Tufte course, but after further review, I see that I haven’t, so here it is.


The success of a visualization is based on deep knowledge and care about the substance, and the quality, relevance, and integrity of the content.

Tufte: Five Principles in the Theory of Graphic Design

  • Above all else show the data.
  • Maximize the data-ink ratio, within reason.
  • Erase non-data ink, within reason.
  • Erase redundant data-ink.
  • Revise and edit.

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