Reading Response 04.

Response 04


The first reading we jumped into was about Tufte’s Spark Lines. I honestly had mixed feelings about this reading. While u understand that Sparklines are a means of presenting information, feel that they are not as effective as Tufte claims. I think that Spark Lines are most likely much more effective if the author is simply trying to convey general meaning, specifically with the line graph examples for glucose.

When Tufte presented the Whisker Diagrams and gave the baseball examples, I was more skeptical if the detail. In my opinion, larger graphics would do a much better job. Instead, I had to read a ledger just to try to understand what the graphs were saying, then squint to see the details that Tufte outlined. As a reader, I would much rather see large-scale graphics that help me interpret the data.


I would much rather see data presented like this:




The we feel fine website was kind of a pain, I think it was a cool idea, and had some interesting interactions, but I was not inspired to take the time to analyze each thing. I’m not sure what their direct message, or mission is (if they have one) the site felt a little busy with all the colors dashing around. I see that it can relate back to the sparklines as alternates graphics to deliver date creatively.


The “snake oil” piece was really cool. It was a fun interaction with some relevant info. I had a good time interacting with the site, and learning a little bit about what I can be doing to rehab my shoulder a little bit better. My girlfriend saw me on the site, and disagreed with some of the information, which made me wonder where they got their sources, but then again, what does she know?


4 thoughts on “Reading Response 04.

  1. It is funny how each of our brains process information in a diferent way. I found the sparklines easier to read then the graph you put up. There is an exception on pg 56. The bump chart is so busy and condensed I have a hard time focusing on the specifics enough to really get anything out of it.

  2. I think from a business perspective the sparklines are an effective way to compare lots of different data all at the same time. I agree that the sparklines being small are annoying if you want the specifics.

  3. First off, awesome ending. “My girlfriend saw me on the site, and disagreed with some of the information, which made me wonder where they got their sources, but then again, what does she know?” God damnit, that made me laugh. Mine disagreed with the findings as well, so I asked for her sources. Which is what was great about the Snake Oil graph. Snipsnap.

    Your baseball chart reminded me of the charts FARK member Di Atribe posts in the NFL Power Ranking forums. Example here –> . It’s interesting how much information can be passed down quickly by changing the icons into logos and symbols we recognize.

  4. I definitely agree about some of the spark lines not really providing as much information as Tufte Claims. The baseball win/loss sparklines came off as jumbled and incompressible to me as well.

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