Highlighting data viz best practices around the web

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The “Aisle" U.S. Senators Work Across Has Grown Into a Canyon

Source: Tableau Public
Author: Hamid Hajebian


Best Practices:

  • Eye-catching design
  • Appropriate use of color for each political party
  • Design makes the purpose of the chart obvious
  • Good idea to include the lines across to accentuate the gap
  • Really like the use of the line width for the % of bills passed; clearly show how the parties don’t work together
  • Coloring the lines by the Senate majority strength shows the shift between parties in power nicely
  • Nice organization from oldest to most recent
  • Coloring the Presidents by their party is a nice touch and aids in understanding
  • Even though the lines are vertical, you can still see how much more conservative the Republican party has become
  • Center line provides balance
  • Excellent title that drives the point home
  • Good idea to include the Info button for more detail
  • Works well as a static viz and an interactive viz
  • Great tooltips


Recommended Enhancements
:

  • The scatter plot doesn’t add much value and feels like it was added because there was space on the side. 
  • If the scatter plot is removed, then the callouts for the meaning of the lines could be moved into that space so that the reader understands what they mean sooner.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Human Development Index

Source: Russell Spangler
Author: Russell Spangler


Best Practices
:

  • Small multiples layout
  • Alphabetical sort makes it easy to find a country
  • Big number for the year with a nice control under it
  • Good use of icons for more information
  • Excellent explanations
  • Historical view on the upper right gives great context
  • Using the historical view as the color legend makes it easy to follow the color throughout
  • Nice color choices
  • Great use of reference lines in the bar chart for context
  • Love the inclusion of the actual numbers and the overall index for each country
  • Including the icons for any indices that changed is a great touch
  • Making a very complex data set look simple takes a LOT of skill

Recommended Enhancements:

  • Would a line chart make the trends easier to understand for the country view on the upper right?
  • Add a bit more spacing between the rows so the countries are separated vertically a bit more (very nitpicky)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

National Autism Indicators Report

Source: Evergreen Data
Author: Stephanie Evergreen


Best Practices
:

  • Simple color usage
  • Excellent layout
  • Perfect use case for slope graphs
  • Headline gives a great summary
  • Consistent scaling
  • Great labelling everywhere
  • Including the axis ticks only on the left side nicely reduces clutter
  • Nice inclusion of the actual numbers

Recommended Enhancements:

  • Needs a title
  • Should the charts be sorted somehow? I don’t see any logic to the sorting. I would have chosen to sort by one the metrics.

London Marathon: How Many Runners Achieve the Dream of a Negative Split?

Source: Financial Times
Author: John Burn-Murdoch

Best Practices:

  • Great use of color
  • Consistent design for each year and gender
  • Great axis labelling and descriptions
  • First chart has more descriptions than the others to make it easier to understand the entire viz
  • Well organised from newest to oldest
  • Layout makes the viz easy to consume
  • Comparisons are easy
  • Viz does a great job of answering the question in the title
  • Great use of reference lines
  • Fading out the runners that aren’t part of the story

Recommended Enhancements:

  • Subtitle is really long
  • Make the scales the same size, i.e., have the same number of hours on each axis, so that the 45 degree line is the same time for the first and second halves of the race

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