Revisualizing Charity Donations
I recently came across an interesting graphic, but I was left with more questions than answers.
The most important question to address when visualizing or analyzing data is: does this create the correct mental model for readers? I do not think that this infographic does.
First, it uses circles for comparison. Humans are good at length comparisons, average at area comparisons, and weak at everything else. Worse, comparing the relative size of circles in this particular chart is misleading because quantities are actually represented by radius rather than area. Without reading the numbers, the relative differences between quantities appear much greater than they actually are.
Furthermore, the infographic only covers a single fundraising program per cause, which warps the analysis into punishing programs that are the most successful.
In any case, here is my redesign of the infographic:
What I would really like is a better data source so we can properly compare which causes have the most immediate need.