I vaguely remember that there was a study / blog post which made a strong point against 3D bar charts. Do you have a source at hand which compares the two - 2D bar charts and 3D bar charts?

  • $\begingroup$ How about this simple study uxmetricsgeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/posterV5.png? $\endgroup$ Dec 31, 2018 at 14:21
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    $\begingroup$ I would only use 3D charts for 3D data and only in a presentation where the charts would be rotated to show some features of the data in 3D. Never static 3D charts and never 3D charts on 2-dimensional data. $\endgroup$
    – Edmund
    Jan 30, 2019 at 10:20

1 Answer 1


A relevant source seems to be

A Psychophysical analysis of chart readability, 2001

Sadly, I don't have access to it.


If you have an area chart, giving it a 3D-effect and rotating slightly can help readability. But I don't remember a context where you could not have used a line chart in the first place.

Bad sources

  • PRO: Looks good (targetdashboard.com)
  • CON: Values are harder to read from the axes only - you need to add values to the bars themselves (targetdashboard.com)

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