Six Principles for Designing Any Chart

An introduction to Google’s new data visualization guidelines

Manuel Lima
Jun 27, 2019 · 4 min read

Be honest

Data accuracy and integrity come first. Don’t distort or confuse the information for embellishment or partiality. Emphasize clarity and transparency.

Lend a helping hand

Provide context and help users navigate the data. Build affordances that prioritize data exploration and comparison.

Delight users

Always exceed expectations. Consider performance, polish, surprise, and innovation. Embrace dynamic, fast, and clever experiences.

Give clarity of focus

Reduce cognitive load and focus on what matters. Every action, color, and visual element should support data insights and understanding.

Embrace scale

Allow the system to extend and adapt to any context. Respect different user needs on data depth, complexity, and modality.

Provide structure

Use visual attributes to convey hierarchy, provide structure, and improve consistency. Experiences should be intuitive and easy to use.

Acknowledgments

Google Design

Stories by Googlers on the people, product, and practice of UX at Google

Google Design

Stories by Googlers on the people, product, and practice of UX at Google. For editorial content and more visit design.google

Manuel Lima

Written by

Designer, author, and lecturer based in NYC. RSA Fellow. TED Speaker. Founder of http://VisualComplexity.com. Design Lead @Google. New book: @bookofcircles

Google Design

Stories by Googlers on the people, product, and practice of UX at Google. For editorial content and more visit design.google