Pyramid diagram

They are all diet pyramid diagram. They all tried to explain an appropriate diet food for healthy body except one. ( One diagram expresses Asian diet pyramid.)

I think comparing different diagrams that express same subject might be a good way to learn and think about effective diagram. I tried to find out pros and cons from these diagram. (Of course, the pros and cons are not truth. They are just my opinion and it can be wrong. – I wonder if the copywrite holder have a look at my blog and get angry at my cons comment. I hope it doesn’t happen.)

The bottom ingredient is something that can be eaten sufficiently. And goes up to the top, there are ingredients that can be eaten more rarely. The pyramid shape expresses this point at a glance. Using real photos of ingredient, it tried to expresses the items without need of reading text. But the upper the item goes, the smaller the extent gets. So the photo gets difficult to distinguish. And Bread, Vegetable, fruit, Beans are all written daily, but the extents are all different. There must be difference in amount. And the boundary is not clear. Is cheese daily? Are sweets monthly? And the photos are faded upside, (I think it’s for making texts clear.) but that makes those images unclear.

Frequency of serving is all written under item’s name. But the photos are not clear. And it has vertical boundary, but I can’t distinguish the rule. (Sweets and Eggs are Weekly Servings. And they are divided widthwise. But fish and dairy are same as optional daily servings, but they are divided vertically.) Maybe there is certain rule and I don’t understand, but anyway for me, it was hard to find unity in method.

The images of items are very simple but clear. Each block has link to Recommended Daily Allowance, so to check serving frequency, we have to click each block. This makes this diagram simple and clear but to get detail information, we have to click the link and wait. This means we can’t get the detail data at a glance. The item images are very cute. So I guess children might like this.

According to the concept of this pyramid diagram is expressing the amount of daily allowance by area, vegetable and fruit feel like having different serving amount. But clicking and checking, I realized that they have same recommended daily allowance. Then why are they divided in 2 spaces that have different extents?

And if want to compare the amount of serving in each items, we have to click the block and memorize or write the data down. Because it shows only one items detail data.

So… the images are simple and clear, but it was hard to get to know all information this diagram is trying to explain.

For me, this diagram was the best to understand. It includes all data in itself, they are easy to understand at a glance, the photos and images are real but simple and clear. The texts are little bit small but they are clear so I could easily read them.

Designing a good diagram is all combination of data, text, graphic, and method.

When I do research, I always get much information. (For example, when I gathered sleeping data, there were much information like sleeping time, time to go to bed, time to wake up, foods that makes a good sleep, impact that weather effects in sleep, my position on bed while I am sleeping etc.) But putting too many information details in one diagram is not a good way. It will make the diagram confusing. Diagram has to be simple so that everyone can understand in a short time. So choosing primary data is important. And then we have to find the right shape of diagram. It depends on the number of data, the target of the diagram, and also the contents of data. Using appropriate image, color, size, and text in appropriate position is also important.


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