In Class

Salary by School

Bad Visualization

As the title states, this visualization attempts to correlate school type and the starting median salary for certain universities and colleges. We filtered the data to only consider schools that have a starting median salary greater than $50,000.

The schools are listed along the x-axis. They’re really hard to read and to figure out which bar represent which school because of how crowded the axis is. All of the school names are cut off, and the axis title overlaps multiple school names in the middle of the axis.

School types are listed along the y-axis, and it is also hard to read these categories. Some are cut off, and the axis title overlaps one of them.

Furthermore, the ordinal color map and bar heights are misleading. Due to the title, it is easy to assume that the bar heights and colors correlate to the school’s starting median salary. But instead, the colors represent the school type (categorical data).

Lastly, the red background color is a bad choice because red appears close to our eyes and attracts focus. The blue text is also a bad choice. In contrast to red, blue recedes for the majority of us. Blue text and red background only has a luminance contrast ratio of 1.15:1. Ideally, we need at least a 10:1 ratio, which emphasizes how tough the text is to read.