bar graph

  • bar graph is a graphical way to display data using bars vertically or horizontally in x and y axis.
  • usually one axis shows the categories and the other axis shows percentages.
  • bar graphs are used for comparison and representing relationship between groups with different data.

bar graph components:

  • x and y axis
  • name of groups or categories (axis 1)
  • numbers (axis 2)
  • scale (the range of numbers shown on the graph)

bar graph design elements:

  • colors (hues and gradients) to show the differences between the groups
  • thickness and size of the bar

example of a bad executed bar graphs:

this bar graph is misleading because at first glance you think there's a massive difference between the republicans and democrats who agreed with court, when in fact it's only 14%, but the y axis is showing the range from 50-64, the following example shows how the scale should have been used.

Now this version is better because we actually see the slight difference between the three groups, because the y axis and the bars are now showing the percentages.

The chart on the left makes you think that the interest rates have increased dramatically in 4 years when in fact it only increased 0.014% as shown on the right graph.

This is a good example of a bar graph because:

  • It shows the labels (Gross Earnings, Years)
  • Graph key or legend
  • Contemporary colors
  • Y axis is used correctly
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