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# To Zebra or Not To Zebra?

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Zebra stripes for painting grids & lists is a violation of the natural principle.

Zebra stripes for painting grids & lists is a violation of the natural principle.

Published in: Technology, Education
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### Transcript

• 1. Zebra stripes for lists & grids??
• 2. To stripe or not to stripe? VS.
• 3. Uniformity of data nature The data in the grid (or list) is uniform by its (data) nature. There is no difference between row 7 and row 22. The representation of the same information must be the same… Because otherwise there is a question: – if all rows are equivalent – why to represent them in different ways?!
• 4. Non-uniformity of data view The data representation in the grid (or list) is not uniform by visual design. There is difference between row 7 and row 22. The representation of the same information is not the same… And there is a question again: – if all rows are equivalent – why to represent them in different ways?!
• 5. Conclusion. Zebra is a problem! Fundamental nature & universe principle screwed up. It is like painting 50% of people clothes to one color and another 50% of people clothes to another color. Visualization contradicts with nature.
• 6. Solution. Don’t paint! Simply, don’t paint presumably. Data shows itself. It is like not painting people clothes at all  , but let them wear what they like. Everybody shows her/him-self. No force, everybody shows up as they are.
• 7. Study by ‘A List Apart’ mag link
• There is a study, showing that majority of people likes Zebra, while there is a big minority that does not:
• 44% vs. 36%
• Regarding this study, there are concerns about the table design:
• too wide column names
• too short data values
• i.e. bad visual design…
link to the tested table image
• 8. What if table visual design was better? Would study by ‘A List Apart’ mag give different numbers? link
• There were ways for better data visualization:
• shorten column names’ widths
• balance cell sizes
• avoid too much whitespace (for easier eye track of a row)
link to the tested table image Zebra lovers might result to ~25% or less!
• 9. What other studies say? link to E.Tufte board, with multiple ruminations and opinions. There are good arguments that zebra is for referees  with reference to ‘Envisioning Information’ book ( link to Amazon) link to zebras 
• 10. What to do with holes in the grid?
• 11. What to do with holes in the grid? Rework IxD. Because if grid has much white space then grid is a wrong way of information delivery in that case.
• 12. The End. Rethink the issue of mismatch between data nature and its view…and stop zebra’ing by selecting right info delivery patterns! May be not a grid.
• 13. Questions? Vasyl Mylko [email_address]