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Hennepin County Design System

Charts, graphs, and infographics

Useful charts and graphs communicate the meaning of data in a visual way. They give users a way to learn more complex information without only relying on text. Infographics use visual elements to show connections among information, processes, or people.

Charts and graphs have usability and accessibility problems. They are not your only choice to communicate complex meaning. Sometimes a statement that is well written or a table can be as effective or more effective.


Be mindful about using a chart, graph, or infographic. Have a clear meaning to convey. Sighted users should be able to understand it right away or with little effort.

Be intentional when creating a chart, graph, or infographic so all labels and text are readable. Aim for font sizes to display no smaller than 16 pixels. That is the minimum font size to meet accessibility requirements.

Charts and graphs should have the data available in a table and a downloadable Excel or CSV file.


Charts and graphs must have a short and long text description (alt text). This meets Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Short descriptions

The short description alt text explains the type of chart and its subject matter.

For example, a short description could read: Pie graph comparing schools that received recycling grants in the last 10 years.

Long descriptions

The long description alt text explains all the information conveyed in the chart or graph.

For example, a long description could read: Schools receiving recycling grants in the last 10 years. Elementary schools have received 35% of grant funds, middle schools 45%, and high schools 20%.

For more help with charts and graphs 

Complete a request form (must have network access).

For full guidance on charts, graphs, and infographics, visit the Data visualization guide (PDF, 2MB).