Highlighting data viz best practices around the web

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.

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