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Design matters 18: Misleading graph based on PISA 2018 data

Source: – Pisa: Mission Failure

This graph seems designed to produce a kind of moral panic among European nations: “Our children are falling waaay behind kids in Asia (and Estonia)!”

At a glance it looks like students in Singapore are performing more than twice as well as, say, students from the UK, when in fact they’re only* about 10% ahead at age 15. The truncated bars (starting at 1400 points rather than 0) make the difference look enormous.


*This “only” is of course significant and important – but there are so many factors that could offset this difference that it doesn’t seem that important.

See also:
Design Matters (17): Elevator Control Panel Nightmares
Design Matters (16): Singapore MRT maps
Design Singapore: Changi airport (1)
Design Matters (15): Bucket Bath Edition (Kiramas 0318 vs Trixy GN311)
Design matters (14): stackable 6 litre water bottle by Singha
Design Matters (13): Dark Patterns
Design Matters (12): IKEA Detergent Bottle
Design Matters (11): PowerPoint Wizardry
Design Matters (10): Your iPhone Moment
Design Matters (9): Bruce Tognazzini’s First Principles of Interaction Design [Radio Edit]
Design Matters (8): Where’s that file?
Design matters (7): Death by PowerPoint
Design matters (6): Bosch hand-blender attachment
Design Matters (5): the information architecture of a water dispenser
Design Matters (4): a recipe for trouble
Design Matters (3): Ingenious board game tile holder and embodied memory
Design Matters (2): badly designed Android Bluetooth menu
Design matters: refrigerator control dial
A well designed paper bag from Waitrose
Postbox: good info

I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...