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Poor chart choices that I made so you can avoid them

How NOT to use pie charts, line charts, and bar charts

Published in
6 min readJul 7, 2021


You probably have seen some charts that seem to look okay, but there is something strange with them. They are either hard to understand or they deliver misleading insight. I guess each one of us has a chart like this in our portfolio.

I was going through my old work and, unfortunately, I came across … plenty of examples. So I decided to share some of the most common mistakes that I used to make, with some alternatives on how to avoid them.

But first, let’s take a step back and think about a good chart? Do you know what defines it? Many people think that the crucial thing for a chart is its beauty but in fact, what really matters is its functionality.

Graphics, charts, and maps aren’t just tools to be seen, but to be read and scrutinized. The first goal of an infographic is not to be beautiful just for the sake of eye appeal, but, above all, to be understandable first, and beautiful after that; or to be beautiful thanks to its exquisite functionality.



Data Visualization Designer | Trainer | Sociologist. Check my redesigned charts in weekly Incremental Improvements articles.