Blog Posts

It's Complicated!

It’s not just the romantic comedy I saw for the third time with my sweetie. It’s the logistics relationships that are often portrayed in data sheets, graphs and charts.

Take this Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) portal for example. Total Visibility explained by the EDI between Order Management, Vendor Management, and Stock and Inventory Management.  It reminds me of figuring out the relationship between Alec Baldwin, Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, and Alec Baldwin.

Here are a few tips to improve on a complexity graph. Simplification is the key - in this case taking out unnecessary graphic elements - the icons for documents, configurable reports, online booking, exception management. Removing the inside dashed circle removes lot of unnecessary clutter.  Next prioritize what is most important in the graph and use larger sizes and brighter color to signal significance to the viewer. Use colors that are close to each other on the color wheel. Simplify the icons using only one or two colors. For secondary objects pick neutral colors. Anything that looks like sand or concrete. Finally simplify font sizes and colors to one or two at most. With this information, hopefully you’ll have a better chance of simplifying charts like this than figuring out why Alec Baldwin got kicked to the curb.