Here’s a UI design problem to consider. You want to show an overview of a storage system in an iPhone application, of some number of storage servers, each of which has some number of disks.
An initial, somewhat elegant idea is to display each volume in a table view, organized in sections by host name, which changes the cell background for a volume to a bar chart, showing how full that disk is:
The obvious issue that crops up here is that disks with different sizes are scaled to fit the entire width, since they’re only showing the percent full. So a 10 TB volume that’s 50% full looks exactly the same as a 500 GB volume that’s 50% full. That’s OK, we’ll just normalize to the size of the largest volume:
It’s a little better, since it’s conveying more, and technically more accurate, information in the same space, but to me this just seems hideously jagged and ugly, and ultimately confusing. But which is the best approach? A prettier, simpler design that can seem to distort the truth, or a more accurate, but jumbled and confusing design?