Highlighting data viz best practices around the web

Thursday, December 24, 2015

1,052 Mass Shootings in 1,066 Days: This Is What America's Gun Crisis Looks Like

SourceThe Guardian
AuthorGuardian US Interactive Team

Click on the image for the full size version.

Best Practices:
  • Incredible storytelling with very few words
  • Great summary at the top along with a simple legend
  • Great use of colour; I like the red to represent death and yellow for injured.
  • Even more impactful on mobile
  • Using the people icons for the unit charts makes it feel very personal
  • Great layout; clean and easy to understand
  • Great example of an visualisation that works better because it's not on one page
Recommended Enhancements:
  • Need information on hover for each person
  • Possibly use male and female icons, but that might take away from the simplicity
  • Grouping the icons by 5s would make the larger shootings easier to count more quickly

Monday, November 23, 2015

Jeb Bush’s Problem Is Jeb Bush

Source: FiveThirtyEight
Author: Harry Enten

Click on the image for the full size version.

Best Practices

  • Using small multiples is great idea because we can see each candidate separately yet still compare them to the others
  • Sorting candidates by the latest score
  • Documenting the source
  • Using a + to emphasise positive ratings
  • Nice title and subtitle
  • Graying out candidates that were not in the latest debate
  • Only including the date scale at the bottom; this helps reduce clutter
  • Using a consistent scale across all charts

Recommended Enhancements:

  • Remove the gray background; it makes the text harder to read
  • Make the data available
  • Make the subtitle smaller

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

U.S. Refugees Arrested on Domestic Terrorism Charges Since 9/11

Source: Fusion
Author: Kevin Roose

Click on the image for the full size version.

Best Practices:

  • Incredibly accurate
  • Tells a compelling story

Recommended Enhancements:

  • Rotate the year labels to be horizontal
  • Add the axis line for the y-axis
  • Add axis labels

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Chelsea’s Historically Awful Start

Source: FiveThirtyEight
Author: James Curley

Click on the image for the full size version.

Best Practices

  • Excellent use of highlighting only Chelsea yet keeping the rest of the teams in context
  • Clean, simple chart
  • Colouring the line blue to match Chelsea’s official colour

Recommended Enhancements:

  • A more descriptive subtitle would be better that indicates more what the story is about. Something like this would make for a better subtitle: "Chelsea is averaging less than one point per game. This is the team’s worst start since 1978 — a season after which they were relegated.”
  • I know it’s their style, but I really don’t like the gray background on the chart.
  • I wish this were interactive so that I could hover over a line and see which team it is.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

History of the U.S. Debt Ceiling

Source: Visual Capitalist
Author: Jeff Desjardins

Click on the image for the full size version.

Best Practices:
  • Really good title and subtitle that tell me what the chart is about
  • Excellent use of colour association: Republicans = red; Democrats = blue
  • Great annotations/reference lines for the changes in Presidents
  • Colour-coding the President names by their party
  • Light reference lines do their job perfectly
  • Good choice of a bar chart instead of a line as the space fills to have more impact
  • Good legend placement (it’s noticeable, positioned well, yet out of the way)
  • Including the dots for which party controls each section of Congress add a lot of context
Recommended Enhancements:
  • Why is the $19.6T proposal in red? To me that implied there will be a Republican President in 2016.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The History of the NFL

Source: Sir Viz-a-Lot
Author: Matt Chambers

Click on the image for the interactive version.

Best Practices:
  • Perfect use of fonts to match those used by the NFL
  • Excellent colour choices; for each team Matt used the official colours for that team
  • Using gold to highlight the NFL champions makes them stand out better
  • Organizationally, this is perfect. This is exactly how the NFL organizes their teams and in this order.
  • Not including an axis was an excellent choice because it focuses the reader on the patterns and not the specifics
  • The design makes the patterns pop out. For example:
    • The Patriots domination since 2001
    • The Steelers and Raiders in the 70s
    • The consistent ineptitude of the Lions, Buccaneers and Cardinals
  • Excellent tricks in the tooltips to make them look like unit charts
Recommended Enhancements:
  • Update the tooltips with bar charts when they become availalbe in Tableau
  • Use ASCII squares instead of vertical lines in the tooltips
  • Change the tooltip font to match the dashboard font, i.e., consistency with font choices

Saturday, October 3, 2015

America's Unique Gun Violence Problem

Source: VOX
Author: German Lopez

How long must these acts continue before something is really done about the problem? Why is America so apathetic towards the problem? When I chat with people in the UK about guns in the US, they are absolutely stunned and terrified. It's unfathomable to people outside the US why nothing is done. I tell them the answers are simple:
  1. Significant, meaningful gun control
  2. Elimination of lobbying
  3. Terms limits in Congress
But lobbyists run the government. Lobbies are the ONLY way to get elected. So there's that.
Three charts today, but I’m too depressed about the situation to critique them. They speak for themselves. And I’m angry.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Blocked Beds in Scotland

Source: BBC
Author: Marc Ellison and Sophie Sparkes

Click on the image for the interactive version.

Best Practices:

  • Dark background works well
  • Nice use of red to emphasise that it’s a negative problem
  • Overall nice design & placement of the dashboard elements
  • Emphasising the word blocked in the title helps tell the story
  • Nice summary on the upper right
  • I like how there’s no labeling on the line chart; matching over the to map is easy enough that they aren’t needed
  • Really nice heat map 
  • Good, consistent use of colours and fonts

Recommended Enhancements:

  • The filter action from the line chart to the map would be better as a highlight action.
  • When I click on a dot on the map, the line colour changes. Why?
  • When I deselect a dot on the map, the heatmap on the bottom does not reset. The instructions say to hit esc, but doesn’t work. The action filter should be fixed instead.
  • What’s the call to action? 
  • A bit more context would be helpful. Is this normal in the UK or is Scotland an outlier? The story implies that Scotland has a problem, but does it?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Battling Infectious Diseases in the 20th Century: The Impact of Vaccines

Source: Wall Street Journal
Author: Tynan DeBold and Dov Friedman

Click on the image for the interactive version.

Best Practices:

  • Excellent storytelling without using many words at all
  • Makes an extremely compelling cases FOR vaccines
  • Including the reference line for when the vaccine was introduced makes the story pop
  • Nice placement of the legend
  • I like how the legend includes an indicator as I hover over a block
  • Clear axis labels for the timeline

Recommended Enhancements:

  • I’m not totally sold on the colour scale; I’d prefer a two colour scale
  • Making the graphics taller would allow all State legends to be seen
  • Provide links to the source data

Monday, September 21, 2015

Jackie Robinson vs. Every Player Before Him

Source: Tableau Public
Author: Ryan Sleeper

Click on the image for the interactive version.

Best Practices:

  • Visually very appealing
  • Including the baseball player sliding is a nice touch to enhance to aesthetics
  • Good title and subtitle that clearly tell me what I’m looking at
  • Simple design of lots of data
  • Nice use of tooltips
  • I like how only Jackie Robinson is highlighted amongst all of the players
  • Minimal use of colour
  • Clear axis labels
  • Nice use of divider lines to separate the header and footer
  • Good placement of the filter, which invites me to interact

Recommended Enhancements:

  • It isn’t clear why the 95th percentile is shown. Why not the 50th percentile? Why not the 75th?
  • Why are multiple fonts used? I prefer a single font if possible.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Gender Pay Gap

Source: Information is Beautiful
Author: Philippa Thomas

NOTE: This is very similar to a piece I did back in August with the same data that was more or less the same visualisation.

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Best Practices:
  • Nice grouping of the data by job sector
  • Great use of two axes that are synchronized yet are different metrics (hourly wage vs. salary)
  • Nice font choices
  • A DNA chart is a great choice for showing the differences
  • Nice used of a dashed line to break up the job sectors
  • Clean design that’s simply to read
Recommended Enhancements:
  • Include an overall for each job sector
  • Use a different for men; the colour used is tough to read
  • Line thickness connecting the dots should be consistent
  • Make it interactive so that I can filter to the sectors I’m interested in, filter the salary range, and hover over dots to see the actual value
  • Including links in the visualisation that you can’t actually click on makes no sense
  • Include links to the researcher and designer; I might be interested in more of their content
  • There’s no logic to the sorting
  • Highlight the roles where women are paid more than men; this will help emphasize the story

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Steady Trend on Gay Marriage Views

Source: FiveThirtyEight
Author: Nate Silver

Best Practices:
  • Great titles and labelling
  • Gridlines aid in quantifying each point
  • Labelling the lines for opposing/supporting is a nice way to not need a colour legend
  • Simple scatter plot tells a great story of the change in views without an commentary needed
Recommended Enhancements:
  • Using red/blue for opposing/supporting can imply a connotation to Republican/Democrat, which may not be the case. An orange/blue colour palette would have been a better choice, for example.
  • It’s not clear what the line through the dots represents. It looks like it’s a bit hand-drawn, which leads me to believe it’s generally a best fit for the points on that date. Either way, it’s not a trend line, so it shouldn’t be included.
  • I don’t like the gray background they choose to use for their charts. I find it distracting and it’s makes it hard for me to see the dots.
  • A connected scatter plot might be an interesting view.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Greater Atlanta Graduation Rates

Source: PBA 30
Authors: Charles Jones

Click the image for the interactive version.

Best Practices:

  • Good choice of colour scheme; it makes the really bad school district stand out
  • Good visual layering
  • Nice table included when you hover or click on a school district
  • Nice map choice because everything outside of the Atlanta area is washed out
  • The white borders around each school district help them pop
  • Clear instructions provided
  • Nice summary text throughout to help tell the story and provide context
  • Clearly shows the poor areas of Atlanta (hint: these are the areas with the worst test scores)

Recommended Enhancements:

  • Increase the font on the tooltips to make them easier to read
  • Use no more than two fonts, preferrably one
  • Allow the dashboard to be downloaded; I feel like people are hiding something when they don’t make the data and/or dashboard available for download

Friday, August 21, 2015

Woodstock: Visualising the “Three Days that Rocked the World”

Source: Tableau Public
Authors: Nicco Cirone

Disclaimer: Nicco is a student of mine at the Data School and this is his #IronViz entry which you can vote for here.

Click the image for the interactive version.

Best Practices

  • Overall beautiful design
  • Great trick using the shapes to trigger actions to other sheets
  • Excellent incorporation of instructions throughout
  • On the jukebox view, I really like what he did with the timeline and artist images
  • Embedding the songs is pretty slick!
  • The artist earnings view is simple, yet quite beautiful. Incorporating the images really makes a big difference.

Recommended Enhancements:

  • Some of the text is really small, making it hard for my old eyes to read

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Is England a Nation on Anti-depressants?

Source: Data School
Authors: Nicco Cirone

Disclaimer: Nicco is a student of mine at the Data School.

Click the image for the interactive version.

Best Practices

  • Excellent story telling; the design guides me around the viz in a logical order
  • Good use of labeling on the line chart; nice touch to include the % change
  • Nice use of a parameter on the map
  • The gray background makes the charts more prominent.

Recommended Enhancements:

  • Change the font size so that the title of the map fits on one line
  • Include action filters on the map so that I can click on a CCG and see the other charts update
  • Colour scale is missing
  • Remove the gridlines and axis from the line chart; they aren’t needed since he included the labels. This would clean up the viz a bit.
  • Use a single font in the entire viz

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Bruce Springsteen: His Albums, Live Shows and Song Moods

Source: Tableau Public
Authors: Pablo Saenz de Tejada

Best Practices:

  • Excellent use of story points
  • The black & white theme captures the tone of Bruce perfectly
  • Great use of images
  • Good use of actions to display more information
  • Good instructions throughout
  • Good font choices
  • Good, consistent use of the red/blue color palette
  • Nice use of annotations
  • Good use of a calendar
  • Great line chart for concerts per year

Recommended Enhancements:

  • A few typos need to be fixed (Spanish is Pablo’s first language)
  • Add a viz on the opening screen
  • Change the concerts per country bar chart to a horizontal bar chart to make the countries easier to read
  • Make the # of songs controller on the last viz a type in; it doesn’t fit the view now

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Lifespan of an Evening News Anchor

Source: FiveThirtyEight
Authors: Harry Enten

Click on the image for a larger version.

Best Practices:

  • Nice grouping by network
  • Great use of a DNA chart to show the time span
  • Good use of colour to separate the networks
  • Only including the years at the top and including gridlines effectively reduces the viz to only what is necessary
  • The layout nicely shows how ABC has had so many more anchors than CBS and NBC

Recommended Enhancements:

  • Include a number for each person somewhere so that I don’t have to calculate the length of time in my head
  • Include an explanation as to why ABC has had so many anchors
  • I know it’s their style, but I find the gray background distracting. A white background (or no background) would be cleaner.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Visualising the Shelter Problem in the US

Source: Monday Morning Viz
Authors: Steven Carter

Click the image for the interactive version.

Best Practices:
  • Nice use of color to show a diverging scale
  • Using the dot on the bar is a nice trick to show comparisons between two measures
  • Using the dots and bars allows for comparing either within a single city or across multiple cities
  • Good use of a help icon to aid in understanding
  • Nice titles that explain each viz
  • Nice use of tooltips
  • Simple layout and design
Recommended Enhancements:
  • The shelter rates are unnecessarily precise. Rounding to the whole number would be fine and cleaner.
  • I would either use a bar in bar or a line instead of the blue area chart. I find the area chart distracting.
  • Reduce the saturation of the outline of the dots on the map. When they are black, they tend to block other dots behind them.
  • I don’t understand the purpose of the county-level shading on the map. I would remove it since the story is more about the dots on the map.
  • Add the option to sort by either metric on the bar/dot plot chart
  • Remove the axis title on the trend chart since it only applies to one metric. Otherwise it should be changed to indicate that it’s scaled to both metrics.
  • I’d like to see a view that shows the % difference between the two metrics by year to see if shelter rates are improving.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Who has the Best Pitching Staff? ERA vs. FIP in MLB

Source: Viz of the Day
Authors: Owen Watson

Click the image for the interactive version.

Best Practices:
  • This is one of the most interesting ways I’ve seen to compare two metrics. It makes the magnitude of the variances very obvious.
  • Easy to compare across teams or stats within a single team
  • Nice use of colour
  • Good example of when to NOT start an axis at zero
  • Proper number formatting for these stats
Recommended Enhancements:
  • Too many gridlines breaking up the viz
  • Could use a better title so that it can stand better on its own
  • Team names don’t need to be bold (personal preference)
  • I’d like to be able to sort by either stat; this only allows sorting by ERA
  • Somehow call out the teams that have a higher ERA than FIP since that is significant
  • Include a defintion for the stats so that people not familiar with baseball can understand it easier
  • Make the viz slightly taller so that all teams fit in a single view

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Fishin' in the Mitten: Catching Big Fish in Michigan

Source: Tableau Public
Authors: Nolen Akerman

Click the image for the interactive version.

Best Practices
  • Well laid out design
  • Excellent story telling
  • Just the right amount of self-exploration and interactivity included
  • Good use of annotations to guide the reader
  • Nice font choice (with two exceptions…see below)
  • Clean design - I like how how removed all of the lines on the chart borders to reduce the noise
  • Good color choices (with one inconsistency…see below)
  • Nice touch to add the fish images
  • Highlighting the major points by making them big and bold (like the years since the record was broken)
  • I like the emphasis on the record in the scatterplot by making it red
  • Nice summary at the top of the records
  • Good use of coloring the months bar chart to double emphasize the frequency
  • Good tooltips, though I would remove the command buttons
Recommended Enhancements:
  • The map bubbles change colors for some reason when you select a different fish. The color does not signify anything that I’m aware of, so a single color should be used for all fish.
  • The text on top of the bars in the bar chart are a different font. This is the only font inconsistency.
  • The font in the scatterplot looks like Arial which doesn’t match the rest of the viz.
  • The decimal places are over-precise. One decimal place would probably be fine.
  • The horizontal bar charts in the middle are set to “fit entire view” which cases the bars to not look so good when there’s only one in the list. I like to ensure all of my bars have the same thickness.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

London Cycle Hire Usage

Source: Tableau Public
Authors: Chris McGrillen

Click the image for the interactive version.

Best Practices

  • I’m generally not a big fan of dark backgrounds, but it works well here because it makes the routes stand out.
  • The line width makes the more frequent routes stand out.
  • Good use of filters; they are out of the way as to not distract the reader
  • Simple bar charts that do a great job of summarizing the complex map

Recommended Enhancements:

  • Using a two-colour divergent colour scale might make the route frequency even more evident, but that would be tough with the dark background (contradicting myself, I know)
  • Change the gray fonts to white to make them easier to read

Friday, May 15, 2015

Path to the Draft

Source: Tableau Public
Authors: Matt Chambers

Click the image for the interactive version.

Best Practices

  • Beautiful design that tells the story without the need for any instructions
  • Terrific background
  • Great fonts and logos that aid in the story
  • Using the official team colors for each team
  • Visually stunning!
  • Tells an amazing story of how 142/200 (71%) of the high school top 100 went undrafted.
  • Fun and engaging; I’m finding a new story every time I click on something.

Recommended Enhancements:

  • I’d like to be able togo backwards this too. For example, I would like to click on an NFL team and see where they got their players from.
  • I don’t care for the default Arial font, but that’s personal preference. I would use something like Helvetica Neue.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mapping the Dead: Gun Deaths Since Sandy Hook

Source: Huffington Post Politics
Authors: Jay Boice, Aaron Bycoffe and Andrei Scheinkman. Research by Jason Cherkis, Peter Finocchiaro, Adam Goldberg, Mark Hanrahan, Benjamin Hart, Alana Horowitz, Melissa Jeltsen, Chelsea Kiene, Brad Shannon and William Wrigley

Click the image for the interactive version.

Best Practices

  • The animation is amazing and startling
  • Great example of storytelling
  • Using the color red is perfect because it represents blood and death
  • Super fast interactivity on mouse-over
  • Really nice bar chart timeline
  • Simple, yet tells a powerful story
  • Proof that vizzes don’t have to be complicated to be impactful
  • Providing a link to additional information
  • Making the data easy to access and download (i.e., transparency)

Recommended Enhancements:

  • Bar chart needs a scale of some sort

Monday, May 4, 2015

Mayweather vs Pacquiao - A Tableau Infographic

Source: Viz of the Day
Authors: Dan Nguyen

Click the image for the interactive version.

Best Practices:
  • Consistent use of colors throughout (though the red for Mayweather farther down doesn’t quite match)
  • I like the long-form infographic style. It makes me feel like I’m reading a newspaper.
  • Great tooltips throughout
  • Nice headers in gold to break up each of the sections
  • The scatterplots do a nice job of showing the differences between the two fighters.
  • Excellent annotations; these make the viz and the analysis completely comprehensible
Recommended Enhancements:
  • Make the red for Mayweather consistent throughout
  • Remove the trend lines on the bar charts; they don’t enough value to justify including them
  • Show the bars as overlapping with one thinner than the other so that they aren’t hiding each other
  • Looks like there’s a bug in Tableau Public that isn’t show Pacquiao’s name at the top

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Under the Knife: The Effects of Tommy John Surgery

Source: Tableau Public
Authors: Matt ChambersMatt Cobb 

Click the image for the interactive version.

Best Practices

  • Great logo at the top left with the knife!
  • I really like the picture of Tommy John on the right, since he’s the basis for the story.
  • Nice before and after summary
  • Being able to pick a pitcher and see how he did before and after and still be able to compare to the overall population
  • Showing the selected pitcher within the scope of all pitchers (as seen by the gray dots)
  • Using blue and red for the lines since those are the official colors of Major League Baseball
  • Viz is uncluttered; they removed all of the gridlines and borders from the charts
  • Writing out the description of the stats instead of using the abbreviations; this is great for people that don’t know baseball stats

Recommended Enhancements:

  • It would be amazing if the picture of Tommy John changed to the pitcher selected, but that’s nitpicky.
  • The red text in the summary section on the left is hard to read on a dark background; I would have used white text.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Simpsons Vizipedia

Source: Tableau Public
Author: David Newman

Click the image for the interactive version.

Best Practices

  • The attention to detail is incredible!
  • Great storytelling
  • Perfect use of color
  • Well organized
  • Every chart is the perfect choice
  • Adding the character pictures makes this more fun and increases the context

Recommended Enhancements:

  • None. I’m totally jealous of David’s ability to create stunning viz after stunning viz. Check out his profile and you’ll see what I mean.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Top Music Artists in the UK & US

Source: Dueling Data
Author: Adam McCann

Click the image for the interactive version.

Best Practices:

  • Stunningly beautiful
  • I would have never guessed this was built in Tableau
  • Technically excellent
  • Great use of color
  • The narrations and explanations add a lot to the overall visualization
  • The borders throughout the viz break it up nicely and make it easier to digest.
  • The bar charts on the end provide a great summary.
  • Great use of the tooltips

Recommended Enhancements:

  • None. This is one of the best vizzes I have ever seen created in Tableau.

Goals Scored by Age: Is it Better to be a Drogba than an Owen?

Source: The Thompkins Times
Authors: Paul Tompkins & Robert Radburn

Best Practices

  • The overall layout is excellent; a heat map is the perfect choice.
  • It’s really easy to see concentrations because of the color choices made: blue = cool, red = hot.
  • The detailed analysis in the article is fantastic.
  • Ronaldo and Messi are really, really good.

Recommended Enhancements:

  • The legend is missing. When does a square turn from blue to red?
  • Change the title so that this can be seen as a standalone graphic.
  • Include the lifetime goals between the player name and the heat map.

Friday, March 20, 2015

MLB Franchise Performance

Source: Viz Raider
Authors: Chris Jones

Click the image to view the interactive version.

Best Practices:

  • Well organized alphabetically by Division and Team, which makes it easy to find a specific team
  • Slider filter works well and is quick to respond
  • Patterns are easy to find
  • Good use of team colors
  • Informative tooltips

Recommended Enhancements:

  • The more years you add, the less easy it is to see the patterns
  • Instead of using a gold bar to represent championships, use a symbol or dot
  • Use a consistent font; team names would be easier to read if they were sans serif

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The World’s Most Expensive Marathons

Source: The Guardian
Authors: Kate Carter and Ami Sedghi

Best Practices:

  • Simple design
  • Easy to understand
  • Bars are properly ranked
  • Placing the labels for the marathons inside the bars helps utilize the space well
  • Including both the overall cost and the cost per mile
Recommended Enhancements:
  • Could use a better title, perhaps something like “What are the World's Most Expensive Marathons?” or “The World’s Ten Most Expensive Marathons"
  • Right-justify the Finishers numbers
  • The £ per mile really isn’t necessary

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Animation of 24-hours of Flights Over London Airports

Source: Business Insider
Author: NATS

Click on the image to go to the video.

Best Practices:

  • Great example of using video for storytelling with data. If this was a static image, it wouldn’t have the same impact.
  • Good animations throughout to aid in the storytelling
  • Engaging
  • Patterns are easy to see

Recommended Enhancements:

  • None

Friday, March 6, 2015

Renal Failure & Chronic Kidney Disease

Source: Pan American Health Organization
Author: Ramon Martinez (Tableau Zen Master)

Click on the image to go to the interactive version.

Best Practices:
  • Beautifully designed
  • Perfect layout: 1st view is the viz, 2nd view is the data, 3rd view is the sources/help
  • Filtering are off to the right, out of the way
  • Great tooltips
  • Appropriate color choices
  • Great table layout on the Data tab
Recommended Enhancements:
  • Possibly use a dot map instead of a filled map
  • The gray reference bands in the dot plot are too prominent
  • Typo on the “Select a Year” filter
  • What do the red, dashed reference lines on the dot plot mean?
  • Add a note on the map that if you click on a country, the line for the country gets highlighted at the bottom

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Node-Link Tree Diagram

Source: Data + Science
Author: Jeffrey Shaffer

Click on the image to go to the interactive version.

Best Practices:
  • Technically, this is amazing work!
  • Practical and re-usable
  • Visually appealing
  • Engaging
Recommended Enhancements:
  • None

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ohio State’s Season Was A Crazy Outlier

Source: FiveThirtyEight
Author: Andrew Flowers
Best Practices:
  • Excellent use of color
  • Clear title, subtitle, and axis labels
  • Square size, which is perfect for a scatterplot
  • Making the zero line bolder than the other axis lines
  • Good use of annotations only where needed
Recommended Enhancements:
  • Remove the gray background on the image, though I realize that’s the FiveThirtyEight style

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Crisis in A&E?

Source: The Information Lab
Author: Chris Love

Click on the image to go to the interactive version.

Best Practices:
  • Engaging
  • Nicely broken into sections
  • Excellent use of color
  • Descriptions that add all of the context needed
  • Beautiful design
  • Really good storytelling: there's a clear beginning, middle and end
  • Nice scalpel metaphor in the Weather Related section
Recommended Enhancements:
  • In the "Weather Related" section, the filter labels are cut off
  • Make the Weather Related section shorter so it fits in a single screen
  • Shouldn't mix red & green lines in the "Increased Demand?" section
  • Tooltips are missing on the green line, yet they exist for the red line
  • I'd like the see the second line chart in the "Increased Demand?" section as a % of visit and not the number. It would add to understanding.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Coca-Cola Is Fighting against a US Public Losing the Taste for It

Source: The Guardian
Author: George Arnett

Double dose of #DataVizDoneRight in today's post since there are two well-done charts in the same article.

Best Practices:
  • Simple design that makes the story obvious
  • NOT including the scale is effective because the bars are labeled; it's not always necessary to include the scale
  • Good use of colors that are distinct from one another
  • Simple legends
  • Good font choice
Recommended Enhancements:
  • More descriptive titles so these can stand alone better without the article
  • Viewing these as line charts might be easier, but then the comparisons within each year would be more challenging
  • Use the brand colors for the bars where possible

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

2014 Was the Hottest Year on Record

Source: Bloomberg
Author: Tom Randall and Blacki Migliozzi

Originally seen on The Functional Art.  Click on the image to go to the interactive version.

Best Practices:
  • Amazing interactivity
  • Great storytelling as you watch this change over time
  • Nice use of red to indicate the hotter temperatures
  • Nice use of highlighting and brushing
  • Great tooltips
Recommended Enhancements:
  • Fix the title so it doesn't overlap the control buttons
  • Add a gray reference line for the 20th Century Average

Friday, February 13, 2015

Isabel's Weather Homework

Source: Tableau Public
Author: Isabel

Click on the image to go to the interactive version.

Best Practices:
  • Nice overall story layout
  • Easy to understand
  • Nice use of color-blind friendly colors on the line chart
  • Rain fall bar chart makes it easy to see three big periods of rain
  • Really neat to use arrows to show the wind direction!
Recommended Enhancements:
  • None! Isabel is seven; we should only be encouraging her.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Washington Hikes That Are Good for Kids

Source: Pixel Drifter
Author: Michael Mixon

Click on the image to go to the interactive version.

Best Practices:
  • Good color choice for the topic
  • Great icon choices
  • Excellent titles and subtitles that tell me what's going on in the viz
  • Including detailed information about the parks is a great touch
  • Location and layout of the filters is wonderful
  • This is not only a beautiful viz, it's will be very useful for hikers in Washington.
Recommended Enhancements:
  • Fix the capitalization of the title
  • I find the font a bit hard to read in a browser; it looks much better printed.
  • The hover doesn't work on all of the bars (I think this is a v9 bug which I've reported).

Monday, February 9, 2015

Vaccination Rates for Every Kindergarten in California

Source: The New York Times
Author: Matthew Bloch, Josh Keller and Haeyoun Park

Note: I had previously done a makeover of a Tableau viz that uses the same data set, but allows for filtering.

Click on the image to go to the interactive version. Additional images below the review.

Best Practices:
  • Color-blind friendly color choices
  • Excellent mobile experience
  • Nice summaries for each major metropolitan area
  • Using a map makes seeing the concentrations easier to spot
  • Just enough labeling; only the detail needed is shown, but more detail is available if you zoom in
Recommended Enhancements:
  • Make filtering easier
  • Make it more obvious that if you make the screen narrow, you get the metro area level views below

San Francisco Bay Area

Los Angeles

Orange County

Friday, February 6, 2015

What If Odell Beckham Jr. Played the Whole Season

Source: Dueling Data
Author: Adam McCann

Click on the image to go to the interactive version.

Best Practices:
  • Made a Tableau viz feel like an infographic...not easy to do
  • Consistent colors (i.e., blue always means Odell Beckham)
  • The parts of the story are nicely separated.
  • Overall design is simple, clean and easy to understand
  • Good use of reference lines
  • I like the middle section with the text summary and the rankings nice and big.
  • Excellent title and subtitle that set the stage for the viz
Recommended Enhancements:
  • Since all of the bars are labeled everywhere, theres no need to show the axis.
  • The orange is kind of bright because there is so much of it; I would have gone with a gray so that they fade into the background.

How the Seahawks and Patriots Got to the Top

Source: FiveThirtyEight
Author: Nate Silver, Reuben Fischer-Baum, Neil Paine

Best Practices:
  • Great use of highlighting when there are a ton of lines
  • Excellent labeling
  • Title and subtitle give all of the context needed to understand the charts
Recommended Enhancements:
  • The aspect ratio looks off. Best practices recommend a 3:2 width to height ratio, but this one looks like it's about 2:3, which makes the lines look steeper than they really are. 
  • I'd like to see this without the gray background, especially since most of the lines are gray, though the gray background is their style.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Virgin Atlantic VS43 Landing Gear Problems

Source: That Data Viz Guy
Author: Paul Chapman

Click on the image to go to the interactive version.

Best Practices:
  • Great use case for Tableau's story points feature!
  • Consistent use of colors; it looks like the official colors for the airlines were used, which is great!
  • Simple story, told in an engaging manner
  • I like how Easyjet was incorporated so that you could see how this impacted another airline.
  • Putting the airline on the end of the line is a nice touch
  • Nice use of annotations to add relevant context
Recommended Enhancements:
  • The first story uses a different background map than all of the rest; this should be consistent.
  • Make the maps smaller so it fits on one screen
  • The headlines talks about the impact on Gatwick, but the impact talked about is only for Easyjet. What about the other airlines?
  • The text on at least one of the tabs of the stories are cut off.
  • The story could have ended earlier at the 19:10 story point.
  • The last three story points don't add much value to the story. 
  • On the "Follow a specific flight" story point, none of the flight I selected showed anything. This list should only show flights that will display.
  • The last story says to "PRESS PLAY", yet there's not play button.

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