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Cygnus_X

[web] Graph Readability

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Cygnus_X    359
Ok.. so I'm making a web based Mud (well, sort of... it may not technically be a Mud, but thats what I call it) and I've been having trouble organizing/condensing information. Pretty much, my game runs like a typical table top D20 game, but I've been having a problem with giving the user all the information he/she needs to determine how well his warriors did/do in battle while not overloading the user with 10,000 rows of data. I've been struggling with this for some time now, and I think I have a decent solution.... but I'd like to get some feedback to see if it makes sense to anyone else beside myself. A picture of the graph can be found at the link below: http://www.lordsofmidnight.com/Pictures/NewGraphs.jpg Here is how its read. First Column (Green) - How much damage you expected to deal. Second Column (Green) - How much damage you did after agility/dexterity was factored in. Third Column (Green) - How much damage you did after your bonus were factored in. Fourth Column (Green) - How much damage you did after the enemies bonuses were factored in. Fifth Column (Green) - How much damage you did after weapon class was factored in. Sixth Column (Green) - How much damage you did after the enemies armor class was factored in. Seventh Column (Green) - How many rounds your unit lived. First Column (Red) - How much damage the enemy expected to deal. Second Column (Red) - How much damage the enemy did after agility/dexterity is was in. Third Column (Red) - How much damage the enemy did after his bonus were factored in. Fourth Column (Red) - How much damage the enemy did after your bonuses were factored in. Fifth Column (Red) - How much damage the enemy did after his weapon class was factored in. Sixth Column (Red) - How much damage the enemy did after your armor class was factored in. Seventh Column (Red) - How many rounds the enemy lived. Of course, these values are averaged over the past 20 battles. But I could easily apply the same type of graph on a 'per battle' scale. Any comments/suggestions would be appreciated. If there are any questions, I'll be happy to answer them.

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John H    584
Generally I think your layout does a good job. The only thing I will say, is that it is a bit difficult to read the graphs. Although I know this would mean you'd need to look at the layout a bit (or scale the graph a little) I think your graph would be more readable if it was horizontal instead of vertical. The key could stay where it is, that part's fine, but the columns are quite difficult to read (sideways text isn't always so easy on the eye).

Apart from that, will your users know what the graph means? You posted the column meanings to us, but I see no way for your users to understand the graph on the screenshot you posted. Perhaps a little link underneath to open a window with a description of what's happening? Something like, "What does the graph mean?".

Hope that helps, and it does look really good btw. [smile]

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Cygnus_X    359
I don't know if the users will know what the bars mean or not. I plan on offering a detialed explination in the 'how to play' portion of my page, but that doesn't garentee anything. Thats kinda why I was looking for feedback...

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John H    584
Just keep it simple. What you've got is great, but as I said, just add a little popup link underneath explaining what the graph means. If it's underneath the graph, people will click it to find out what it means. If it's ina help file somewhere, people are much less likely to look (the FAQs here are a great example of that).

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Wan    1366
I don't know anything about the game, so I can't really tell how important these statistics are. But you might want to ask yourself (or others) how neccesary all this information is. Maybe players don't care about all these details, but want a more global picture. Perhaps more experienced users could click a link that would show a new page (in a new window, an expanding panel, etc.) showing the full details of what is going on. A new page means more space to lay out your graph.

Optionally, you could show a tooltip or dhtml generated layer that explains the bar when the player hovers his mouse over it. Or use small icons to indicate what the individual statistics mean. Icons are easier to recognize for a user than remembering the position of a column.

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Cygnus_X    359
Yeah... I'm starting to realize it would have been better to poll current users than to just throw the chart out into the forums. But at any rate, the replies have been helpful. Thanks.

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