Choices on plots that involve flipping axes, using points instead of bars, and axis labels for intervals

We can take one more look at the seminal Winston & Strawn plot, now streamlined and improved as discussed previously. A few graphical design choices deserve comment. We emphasize, however, that graphical design choices are many, which means the permutations and combinations of them are even more numerous. Experience (and some research on how humans perceive and interpret graphs) suggest quite a few well-accepted guidelines, such as simplicity and clarity, but graphical visualization remains in the subjective domain of what feels appropriate to the designer. We could analogize to writing style.


A convention in plotting is that the so-called factors run along the x-axis at bottom and the quantitative values run up the y-axis on the left. With such long axis labels, however, that choice has no appeal here. If we shorten the labels and rotate them, it is possible, as seen in the plot below.


Another choice would have eschewed bars in favor of points.


Finally, had there been finer Interval numbering on the lower axis there would have been no need for the obtrusive numbers at the end. The plot below shows how this would have looked with points and intervals and short, rotated labels.

Rplot points angles

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