Design

1 posts
Abstract: The Art of Design, with Christoph Niemann

Abstract: The Art of Design kept popping up on my Netflix recommendations list for the past several months. I ignored it though, because I’m tired of the heavy-handed design shows talking about how design is life and life is design, etc. Also, I probably spend more time flipping through what I can watch than actually watching anything. In any case, for some reason I hit play and was happy to...

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Well-structured, interactive graphic about newsrooms

Today, I take a detailed look at one of the pieces that came out of an amazing collaboration between Alberto Cairo, and Google's News Lab. The work on diversity in U.S. newsrooms is published here. Alberto's introduction to this piece is here. The project addresses two questions: (a) gender diversity (representation of women) in U.S. newsrooms and (b) racial diversity (representation of white vs. non-white) in U.S. newsrooms. One of...

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Understanding animated transitions in data visualization

Alec Barrett for TWO-N describes the benefits and some of the intricacies of animated transitions in data visualization. This visual essay is inspired by the question: What is happening conceptually between the start and end of a transition? I look at reasons for using animated transitions (besides “it looks cool”) and at the kinds of variables that can be transitioned. I conclude that we can think of animated transitions in...

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Choropleth map design considerations

Lisa Charlotte Rost for Datawrapper provides guidance for designing choropleth maps that most fairly represent your data: Maps are not objective, but a version of reality. When creating them, lots of choices are made: What to map, how to map and whether or not to use a map in the first place. Here we’ll try to find guidelines to all of these questions, for a specific subset of maps: Choropleth...

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Steel tariffs, and my new dataviz seminar

I am developing a new seminar aimed at business professionals who want to improve their ability to communicate using charts. I want any guidance to be tool-agnostic, so that attendees can implement them using Excel if that’s their main charting software. Over the 12+ years that I’ve been blogging, certain ideas keep popping up; and I have collected these motifs and organized them for the seminar. This post is about...

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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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