I’m a big fan of good graphs – clean, informative and easy to understand graphs. This requires thinking about difficulties the reader may have if we are to present a graph in a certain way. To see some of the worst graphs ever produced in the scientific literature, try googling “Top Ten Worst Graphs”. You’ll be amazed how bad many scientists are at communicating their results.
I just saw this graph about water-levels in different parts of flood-tormented Bangkok. It is creative (The (bald) men are immersed in water but the lady carries on shopping, on high heels!) from a design point of view, but could be improved in the delivery aspect. Apparently, the level is arranged by alphabetical ordering of location (except the special case of the shopping lady). This does not make much sense. A better way is to order the location by the severity of flooding. This immediately informs the reader which area is worst hit, and which is relatively untouched. You can compare the differences below.