Highlighting data viz best practices around the web

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Who Earns More Income in American Households?

Source: FlowingData
Author: Nathan Yau


Best Practices:
  • Using distinct colors for the genders
  • Using shading for density
  • Including BANs for the overall percentages
  • Simple, effective axis labels
  • Switching years by clicking on buttons for each year
  • Title clearly tells us what the viz is about
  • Using the sub-title to give more detail
  • Making the diagonal where the numbers are the same a single solid color so that the genders are separated
  • Blocks are each $5K and the labels are every $25K; this keeps the viz uncluttered
  • Great use of a heatmap

Recommended Enhancements:
  • Include tooltips so that you can see the actual values
  • Link to the source data

Thursday, June 14, 2018

How the Flu Spread Across the Us This Year

SourceFiveThirtyEight
DesignerElla Koeze


Best Practices:
  • Great use of small multiple maps
  • Color legend effectively shows the severity categories
  • Including the dates above each map
  • Making each map the same length of time (one week)
  • Bright red really pops
  • Including the source at the bottom
Recommended Enhancements:
  • You have to read the subtitle several times to make sense of what it means (at least I did).
  • I would have the subtitle read "Influenza level by state*", then have a footnote at the bottom with the rest of the description.
  • Why isn't the designer's name credited on the chart?

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The Departed: Britain’s Government Is Breaking Records for Upheaval



Best Practices:
  • Great use case for stepped lines
  • Using highlighting for the UK
  • Emphasizing the latest party in bold
  • Including other governments for context in the background
  • Using a common baseline on the x-axis
  • Showing the y-axis on the right to make it more supplementary to the chart
  • Including the leader and years they were in leadership on the ends of the lines
  • Citing sources in the footer
  • Defining what "exits" means in the footer
  • Great chart dimensions
Recommended Enhancements:
  • Consider a more engaging title, though I do like a good pun
  • Would the orange lines look better without the white halo?

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Bussed Out | How America Moves Its Homeless

Source: The Guardian
Authors: Nadieh Bremer, Shirley Wu






Best Practices:
  • One of the most impactful pieces of storytelling with data you will ever see
  • Minimal use of color
  • Excellent use of contrast through highlighting and fading
  • Incredible animations (be sure to look at the on the original article)
  • Great sourcing and notes about the methodology below the article
Recommended Enhancements:
  • Make the data available so others can create their own visuals and spread the story

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