Thursday, July 15, 2021

Color Miscue

Sometimes all you can do is keep one foot in front of the other and focus on a tiny thing that's wrong in the world. Such is today.

This infographic appeared in today's Star Tribune with a story about how one of our state's electric companies, Minnesota Power, will be moving to variable rates based on the time of day:

At a glance, I accurately assumed the most expensive time was midday, but then inaccurately assumed the second most expensive time was around and after midnight. Knowing that those hours made no sense as a more expensive time, I looked at the labels and saw that, as I suspected, the second darkest color was being used to label the cheapest time, while the lightest color was meant to indicate the second cheapest or in-between rate.

Does this make any sense? Who taught color theory or logic to the person who made this infographic?

Reading the key, the creator's intention is clear, but wouldn't it have made more sense to have the colors in the circle graphic help the designer by having the off-peak hours in the lightest shade?

Here's a revision starting from the original:

Hmm. Maybe red as a base color is not the best choice.


Michael Leddy said...

Terrible design! Thank you for calling it out. I have another complaint: the use of a clock face (twelve hours) to map out 24 hours. And noon at the 6:00 mark. That makes my head spin.

I’d find it more readable as a line, with the hours marked highest and lowest. Or with just the words that are already there (!).

Daughter Number Three said...

Yes, that!

When I was working on the revision I kept thinking that it was a set of birth control pills...

Michael Leddy said...