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Visual Novelty

A powerful way to catch people’s attention is the use of visual novelty or user experience. Unexpected visual formats (or even familiar forms put into an unexpected context) can pique an audience’s curiosity.

However, this should be balanced by the fact that audiences tend to read best what they read most — that is, chart types that are the most familiar. An audience confronted with an unusual form or experience may be confused and may need to be guided towards interpreting and understanding the presentation.

Visual novelty should remain in the service of your data, your message, and your advocacy objectives. Gratuitous novelty also has the potential to make a project easy to dismiss as frivolous.