Design

23 posts
Crazy rich Asians inspire some rich graphics

On the occasion of the hit movie Crazy Rich Asians, the New York Times did a very nice report on Asian immigration in the U.S. The first two graphics will be of great interest to those who have attended my free dataviz seminar (coming to Lyon, France in October, by the way. Register here.), as it deals with a related issue. The first chart shows an income gap widening between...

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Finding simple ways to explain complicated data and concepts, using some Pew data

A reader submitted the following chart from Pew Research for discussion. The reader complained that this chart was difficult to comprehend. What are some of the reasons? The use of color is superfluous. Each line is a "cohort" of people being tracked over time. Each cohort is given its own color or hue. But the color or hue does not signify much. The dotted lines. This design element requires a...

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Visualization in the 1980s, just before the rise of computers

Graham Douglas, a data journalist at The Economist, looks back on the days when getting data and visualizing it was tedious from start to finish: But even these seemingly simple charts had their challenges and took a lot of time to make. Data were found in books by a research department skilled in the art of extracting obscure economic figures and statistics, which were copied to scraps of paper. We...

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Weaponised design

When the web was relatively new, things were more of a free-for-all. Everything was an experiment, and it always felt like there were fewer consequences online, because not that many people really used the internet. Now a large portion of people’s lives are online. There is more at stake. Tactical Tech focuses in on the (careless) design of systems that allows bad actors to thrive: Design can also be weaponised...

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Considering the “valuable-ness” of the things we make

Nicky Case ponders the “valuable-ness” of the things he makes as the product of the number of people reached and the average value for each person reached. Finding the balance is tricky. Tags: Nicky Case, value

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Optical illusion shows our messed up lightness perception

A gray piece of paper moves along a gradient. You won’t believe your eyes. A demo of lightness perception pic.twitter.com/BSVpgcuIw1 — Akiyoshi Kitaoka (@AkiyoshiKitaoka) August 12, 2018 Tags: illusion, perception

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Collection of data visualization pitfalls

There are many mistakes you can make when you first get into visualization. Yan Holtz and Conor Healy catalog the common pitfalls as part of their project From Data to Viz. While there are a lot, keep in mind that you’ll learn these as you go. But it’s good to at least be aware of them from the start. Tags: pitfalls

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Some Tufte basics brought to you by your favorite birds

Someone sent me this via Twitter, found on the Data is Beautiful reddit: The chart does not deliver on its promise: It's tough to know which birds like which seeds. The original chart was also provided in the reddit: I can see why someone would want to remake this visualization. Let's just apply some Tufte fixes to it, and see what happens. Our starting point is this: First, consider the...

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Two thousand five hundred ways to say the same thing

Wallethub published a credit card debt study, which includes the following map: Let's describe what's going on here. The map plots cities (N = 2,562) in the U.S. Each city is represented by a bubble. The color of the bubble ranges from purple to green, encoding the percentile ranking based on the amount of credit card debt that was paid down by consumers. Purple represents 1st percentile, the lowest amount...

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Fast and slow visualization

Visualization is often described in the context of speed and efficiency. Get the most insight for the least amount of ink or pixels. Elijah Meeks argues that visualization goes far beyond this point of view: This breakneck pace is a real data visualization constraint. It’s not a myth that charts are often deployed in rooms full of people who only have a short time to comprehend them (or not) and...

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