The techniques of disinformation and the pseudo-explanation of the
automaton chess-player illustrate once again the supreme and enduring
test of all information design, the integrity of the content displayed!
Is the display revealing the truth?
Is the representation accurate?
Are the data carefully documented?
Do the methods of display avoid spurious readings cf the data?
Are appropriate comparisons and contexts shown?
Sometimes we have a clear empirical test of visual truth-telling:
Was a wise decision made and prudent action taken on the basis of
the displayed information? Thus, in our examples, the epidemic ends
or persists, the space shuttle survives or explodes, the stairs escort us
safely or trip us up, the map efficiently guides us to our destination
or it confuses and misleads us.
Also professional standards of quantitative and graphical integrity
point the way. For example, economists agree that graphs depicting
money over a period of time should show inflation-adjusted (constant)
monetary units.” To use undeflated monetary units is to distort the
evidence, mixing up changes in the value of money with real changes in
the data, just as rainbow color-coding of quantitative data confounds
What happens in a color scheme with what happens in the data.
Meir Lobaton Corona + Ulli Heckmann + Julia Pankofer, Outside-in (2013)