Highlighting data viz best practices around the web

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Nuclear Energy Option

Source: VizCandy
Author: Kelly Martin

Click on the image to go to the interactive version.

Best Practices:
  • Stunning design, this doesn't look like "Tableau"
  • Excellent storytelling
  • Great use of fonts.  How does she know which fonts to use?
  • Everything is so crisp and clean
  • Sections are nicely broken up so that they can be considered independently
  • Nice use of color; not too much, not too little; just right
  • The dark map makes the dots stand out
  • Great line chart inside the dark map! The forecasting shading is great as well as including dots on each year and not including the axis. This allows the line to stand on its own with no distractions.
  • I typically don't like tree maps, but I think it works ok in this case because there aren't too many pieces to it and it fills the space nicely.
  • I like the icons on the second area chart to signify the different energy sources.
  • I'm typically not a fan of stacked area charts, but in this case, I think it works ok because you can still see the huge spike in China's coal usage.  You can also see that energy usage in the USA hasn't changed much.
  • I like the summary metrics above the icons and the area charts.
  • The bar in bar chart works well. I like the lack of color and the sorting.
  • I like how to two maps farther down go together and how Kelly has used text to tie them together.
  • I really like the giant text boxes showing the overall numbers for the key metrics. These break the sections well too.
  • Great tooltips throughout
  • The stacked bars at the bottom are an interesting choice. Kelly chose to color by the metric name instead of by the category. This works because there aren't too many items stacked and she's made the dividers in the bars clear.
  • Adding the "net" below the stacked bars is great because naturally someone is going to want to know that and we don't want them to have to do the math in their head. This also avoids having to create another chart.
Recommended Enhancements:
  • Remove the break between the actual and estimate sections in the first area chart
  • I don't understand the point of the bubbles to the right of the two white maps.
  • I'd like Kelly to teach the rest of us how she thinks through design and makes choices about fonts and colors.

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