Highlighting data viz best practices around the web

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

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