What to include in your website


What information should you make easily available from the top page of your website? This Venn diagram might help you decide!

Have you ever gone to a website to try to find some information, and had a (expletive) difficult time trying to find that info? I think there is often a disconnect between people designing websites and the people using them - designers seem to be mainly concerned with having a certain look and using the latest technology to display a slideshow, whereas users just want to be able to find the information quickly and easily.

I found the following graphic that demonstrates this pretty well. It was designed by Randall Munroe, and his site describes itself as "A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language." I assume that being a webcomic is the reason he uses all upper case letters, but with this amount of text, I think that makes it a bit difficult to read. Also, those not familiar with Venn diagrams might not get what it's saying.


So I decided to create my own version using SAS, and make it a bit more professional, easier to read, and more intuitive. I used annotate to draw the circles, and filled them with transparent blue and yellow, so that the combined area in the middle is green (I think just about everyone will understand that green is the combination of blue and yellow, which will make the Venn diagram concept more obvious). And I used mixed case text, so it is easier to read. Since there is no built-in SAS procedure to create this plot, I hard-coded the x/y positions for each piece of text, and then annotated the text on top of the colored circles.

I think the finished graph look pretty nice!



What are some examples of good, and bad, websites you've tried to find information on? Feel free to share in a comment!



About Author

Robert Allison

The Graph Guy!

Robert has worked at SAS for over 20 years, and is perhaps the foremost expert in creating custom graphs using SAS/GRAPH. His educational background is in Computer Science, and he holds a BS, MS, and PhD from NC State University. He is the author of several conference papers, has won a few graphic competitions, and has written a book (SAS/GRAPH: Beyond the Basics).


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