The Blow Apart Effect


#1

Guideline: Do not use blow apart effects
Source: http://guides.library.duke.edu/datavis/topten

Can I use the blow apart effect as feedback for a linked-view interface? As part of a dashboard, I have implemented a bar chart showing data from 20-50 sources. The color channel has been used to indicate the 7 categories of these sources. When one source is selected in another view, I move other bars on both sides of the selected source a little away. A visualization researcher told me that I should not do this as it is a blow apart effect. But what he suggested seems to be equally problematic (e.g., making thicker outline, changing size, animation, and so on). Please help.


#2

Actually, in my opinion, you could use the blow apart effect in this scenario
and I think it would be fine. In fact, most focus and context techniques should
work very well as far as i can see. Here is some more information on
focus + context if you’re interested:

-cheers, bob


#3

Thank you, Bob, very much. This is reassuring. I have seen blow apart effect in MS-Excel charting tools. I do not feel strongly that they are that bad as it is easier to see individual segments when colors are less distinguishable. Am I correct to say that it is more OK to use blow apart effect for doughnut charts but less OK for pie charts?

Thank you for your help. Andrea