Interactive Charts – When Words are Feeble, Use the Power of Images

Information rules contemporary world. Our business tempo is so hasty that sometimes successful career depends on how quickly we can process huge volumes of information. Do you know a great way to present complicated extensive data in simple, easily memorable and digestible way? Of course we talk about interactive charts now. It’s a well know fact that a human mind percepts, handles and memorizes visual data much better than textual one. Charts are used to wrap up sophisticated info into concise visually appealing documents, which let the user catch its essence and the relationships between parts of the data it contains in an instant.

But let’s get a deeper view on the matter, we promise, it will be cognitive.

So, what are interactive charts?

Actually, a chart is a graphical representation of data, where the latter is rendered by means of symbols, like bars, lines, slices, etc. It can be created in the form of a brief sketch on a sheet of paper in a few seconds, just to convey your thought to the partner or with the help of specific computer charting application. Of course, the latter will look more impressive and eye candy, but both variants will serve the same purpose – to ease and speed up the understanding of your thoughts, concepts, ideas and statistics. As you realize, it’s impossible to draw an interactive chart on paper. Such graphs are created with the help of special software, which makes them extremely dynamic because each element responds viewer’s action. Needless to say, that the experience with an interactive chart is much more engaging as all those visual effects encourage the user to continue investigation.

What can be represented by interactive charts?

An interactive chart can represent a great variety of numeric or qualitative data in a highly organized manner. Such charts are also called diagrams or graphs. Some nautical and aeronautical maps are also called charts. The term chart is also used for domain specific constructs, music notations and album records popularity.

By the way, interactive charts are often used in infographics design. Actually, it won’t be a great mistake to say that infographics almost fully consist of charts, different types of them, most of which are interactive to raise users’ interest.

As you see, charts have really varied spheres of application. If should be mentioned that different types of charts are suitable for presenting certain kinds of information. For instance: percentage data is much easier to understand when presented in a horizontal bar chart. Numerical data that shows changing over a period of time is better to present in a line chart.

Interactive charts can have absolutely different forms; however, they all have something in common. First of all, the data in any chart is represented graphically, that is, with the help of images due to the specific human mind ability we’ve mentioned before. Of course, text is also used, but it doesn’t play the leading part here. It just accompanies and explains the pictures. For instance, each interactive chart (as well as the static one) has its title, which makes the viewer understand what it’s all about or what the data in the graph refers to. There are some more features similar to all charts, but we won’t bore you with extra unnecessary details and skip to the most sipid part of our article.

Types of interactive charts illustrated by lovely examples

Actually, there are dozens of chart types, but we will try to cover the most frequently used ones. Here they follow:

Histogram

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Bar chart

Interactive Charts

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Pie chart

Interactive Charts

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Line chart

Interactive Charts

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Timeline chart

Interactive Charts

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Organizational chart

Interactive Charts

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Tree chart

Interactive Charts

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Flow chart

Interactive Charts

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Area chart

Interactive Charts

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Cartogram

Interactive Charts

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Pedigree chart

Interactive Charts

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Less-common charts:

Bubble chart

Interactive Charts

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Polar area diagram

Interactive Charts

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Waterfall chart

Interactive Charts

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Radar chart

Interactive Charts

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Tree map

Interactive Charts

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Streamgraph

Interactive Charts

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Except for the listed ones, there exist lots of field-specific, named and other charts. We didn’t enumerate them in our post because they wouldn’t be of great use in your web design projects. Instead of them, below, you will find a list of practical interactive chart libraries, tools, galleries and plugins, with the help of which you will be able to create any chart or infographics you need to be comprehended and appreciated by the audience.

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Libraries & Galleries

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Plugins & Tools

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