Why do pie charts look the way they do? What makes this particular way of slicing up a circle the preferred way of showing part-to-whole relationships? In two short papers that I’m presenting this week at EuroVis, I looked at the design space of circular part-to-whole charts, including pie charts.
Criticizing visualizations is a cottage industry of sorts, and an activity I have indulged in in the past as well. Redesigning those charts is also not uncommon, though it's usually other people's charts, and that isn't always welcome. Sarah Leo of The Economist has redesigned some of the charts made by that publication, and not only do her redesigns work better, her thoughts around some of the design issues are also very insightful.
I'm one of the organizers of the new TrustVis Workshop at EuroVis this year. We haven't done a good publicizing its existence, so here is a reminder and a deadline extension: submit your papers on trust in visualization until April 5!