Saturday, May 27, 2017

A word on visuals: An alternative to the bullseye diagram

A particular type of diagram that I often have problem with is the bullseye diagram.
Bullseye diagram

The problem is text placement. Some people, including me, opt to place the text outside the diagram and connect to it using lines or arrows. A bullseye diagram conveys the idea of a core and its subsequent layers. It is a hierarchy diagram with the center been the most important part, the core if you will.

A slide that I didn't show in the last post was a simplification of diagram I would called a Earth's Layers diagram:
Source: Wikimedia Commons

In essence, it is the bullseye diagram in 3D. I wanted to visualise the following layered hierarchy 1. Principles 2. Methodologies 3. Tools. At the core are the principles, followed by the methodologies, and tools as the final layer. My plan was to place the text on x-y plane.

I ended up not using the earth's layers diagram because I couldn't modified the above diagram to have only three layers. So  instead I came up with this:

Simplification of a earth's layers diagram
The  advantage with this kind of diagram is that the size and shape of the layers can be changed arbitrarily to meet the requirements of the text to be place inside the diagram itself. No lines, no text sacrifices  The depth effect is cause by the shadow effects, which are blurred gray copies of the white surfaces.

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