Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Creating a Graphical Comparison Without Graphics

Long time, no posts. I'm trying to figure out where this blog fits in and whether or not I can (or want to) continue updating it on a regular basis. For right now, I'm just posting when the urge strikes... which obviously isn't often. Thanks for bearing with me.


Yesterday, I was working on a slidedeck that included a comparison of several different technical solutions. At the end, I wanted to convey a visual summary of the risks and benefits of each option.

Five minutes before I was to present the slides, I was frantically googling to find the perfect icons to use. I wanted some sort of red/yellow/green lights or gauges, some way to show high/medium/low risk or represent level of effort.

I couldn't find anything that I liked (and didn't have to pay for). I realized with just a minute or two to spare that I didn't need anything fancy for what I wanted to communicate. I could use simple colored bars in a table on the slide. 

I had started off with text (low, medium, high) and changed the color of the text to correspond to a rating. Then I added highlighting and adjusted some spacing so they'd all be the same width (which is why the text looks a bit funny). 

The resulting chart effectively conveyed my message. 

Just a little reminder that sometimes simple is best.