Design

65 posts
People font

You know those graphics that use icons of people to represent units or counts of people? The Wee People font by Alberto Cairo and Scott Klein makes it easier to use such icons on the web. Just add the CSS file and you’re ready to go. Tags: font, icons, people

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When design goes awry

One can't accuse the following chart of lacking design. Strong is the evidence of departing from convention but the design decisions appear wayward. (The original link on Money here)   The donut chart (right) has nine sections. Eight of the sections (excepting A) have clearly all been bent out of shape. It turns out that section A does not have the right size either. The middle gray circle is not...

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A gem among the snowpack of Olympics data journalism

It's not often I come across a piece of data journalism that pleases me so much. Here it is, the "Happy 700" article by Washington Post is amazing.   When data journalism and dataviz are done right, the designers have made good decisions. Here are some of the key elements that make this article work: (1) Unique The topic is timely but timeliness heightens both the demand and supply of...

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Alternatives to the rainbow color scale

Oh. It’s that time of year already. Time to hate on the rainbow color scale, which is still prevalent but equally less useful than alternatives. Matt Hall provides (scientific!) reasons for looking to scales that don’t include the full spectrum and some solutions. We know what kind of colourmaps are good for interpretation: those that increase linearly and monotonically in brightness, with no jumps or stripes of luminance. I’ve linked...

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Importance of form and survey design to gain an accurate picture

Lena Groeger, writing for Source, shifts attention upstream from analysis to the design of forms in the data collection process. Whether you’re filling out a form or building it yourself, you should be aware that decisions about how to design a form have all kinds of hidden consequences. How you ask a question, the order of questions, the wording and format of the questions, even whether a question is included...

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Choosing color palettes for choropleth maps

Choropleth maps, the ones where regions are filled with colors based on data, grow easier to make. However, choosing colors, the number of colors, and the breakpoints is often less straightforward, because the answer is always context-specific. Lisa Charlotte Rost, now at Datawrapper, provides a rundown of the decision process. The explanation is in the context of the Datawrapper tool, but you can easily apply the logic to your own...

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Fifty-nine intersections supporting forty dots of data

My friend Ray V. asked how this chart can be improved: Let's try to read this chart. The Economist is always the best at writing headlines, and this one is simple and to the point: the rich get richer. This is about inequality but not just inequality - the growth in inequality over time. Each country has four dots, divided into two pairs. From the legend, we learn that the...

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Project Lincoln from Adobe aims to reverse data visualization workflow

With data visualization, you start with the data and let it guide geometry, colors, etc, and from there, you work on aesthetics, readability, and usability. The data informs the design. Project Lincoln is an experiment from Adobe that flips this. You draw shapes and illustrations first and then bind data to them. Here it is in action: My brain was confused. Something about this order of things doesn’t feel right....

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Lop-sided precincts, a visual exploration

In the last post, I discussed one of the charts in the very nice Washington Post feature, delving into polarizing American voters. See the post here. (Thanks again Daniel L.) Today's post is inspired by the following chart (I am  showing only the top of it - click here to see the entire chart): The chart plots each state as a separate row, so like most such charts, it is...

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Infographic design sins in meme form

Visual editor Xaquín G.V. recently used the distracted boyfriend meme to represent our attraction to novel visualization methods when a simple and visually sound method is right there at our disposal. Then he ran with it to illustrate his professional sins as an editor for a news desk. Tags: meme, sins

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