The Science of Hummingbirds
Annotating a chart to add context and explanation is the best way to make it tell a story. Annotations on video are just as effective.
A masterclass in narrative pacing when it comes to visual digital storytelling.
A good example of using rhetorical scroll to make a point about just how often Trump has lied.
Could you be a Facebook Moderator
This feels like a missed opportunity to me. The quiz format is an emotionally powerful way to get readers into the story, but is framed around the premise that they want to become Facebook moderators. It could have instead been used to prompt discussion or to learn more about why the rules are as they are.
Which city is the microbrew capital of the US? (and the 'how we did it' piece)
A very good example of an 'explorable' visualisation. The rotated scatter plot is particularly genius
How Trump’s presidency factors into the stock market
On mobile phone screens, horizontal space is a scarce commodity, but vertical space is near infinite
The FT's French and UK election poll-trackers
I find poll trackers to be interesting case studies in what can and cannot be made into a template.
The website obesity crisis (updated)
Bloat is something that doesn't leave room. You're not leaving room for other people. You're not leaving room for creativity. You're not leaving room for wonderful things to happen, because they happen in the gaps between stuff. They happen when things are easier to do.
This essay by Lisa Charlotte Rost explores the tension between getting information across quickly in data visualisations, and the need to first make a reader curious about the information being conveyed.
How Uber Uses Psychological Tricks to Push Its Drivers’ Buttons
A good example of what Maarten Lambrechts is calling explorables. I particularly like how it is made up of a series of small simulations that follow the same design pattern.
Is America's Military Big Enough?
Very nice integration of charts and text, especially the opening headline and icons combo.
Who Wins and Who Loses Under Republicans’ Health Care Plan
The opening visualisation is masterful because it simultaneously does two things well — it tells the overall story at a quick glance, and also rewards closer examination to reveal the different impact on based on age and geography
The data visualisation legacy of Hans Rosling
Rosling generated broad public interest in his charts by adding information, not taking it away or dumbing it down
Tracking Trump's people
A good round-up of Trump staffing trackers made by different news orgs. It highlights how many design decisions have to be made even for something seemingly simple, and how this can give rise to different approaches in solving the same problem.
How well do you really know your country?
What makes interactivity work here? Personalisation creates relevance, plus satisfying feedback when you see what the real answer is as well as how you compared to others
To Build a Better Ballot
Masterclass on how to use interactivity to explain complex issues. Of particular note is the use of repeated UI patterns to teach people how to use the simulator.
The Voter Suppression Trail
A news-game for the US election.
Liked: Its semiotics (what it reminds people of). The mini game dodging election monitors link the mechanics to the message. How it highlights some of the more egregious voter suppression tactics.
Disliked: The predictabiility of the outcome of the choices mean that they don't feel as meaningful. The fact that the 'Oregan Trail'-type resources are merely cosmetic and not part of the game mechanics.
The most challenging job of the 2016 race: Editing the candidates’ Wikipedia pages
This piece shows what can be done when the author is aware of the possibilities and constraints of the medium, and not just responsible for the text of the article
Raising Barriers; and write-up
This is the best recent example of integrated multimedia storytelling. Besides seeing how far we have progressed technically since Snowfall in 2012, it is also instructive to note the evolution in mindset and team organisation needed to make this.
Bhumika can speak for herself
Innovative and effective storytelling. The simplicity of the presentation masks a lot of technical complexity needed to pull it off.
Your phone is now a refugee's phone
Should we design stories that are responsive to different screen sizes and platforms?
Should we design stories optimised to particular settings, to the extent that they convey their central message only when viewed in a certain way?
Interactivity done well
There's nothing flashy in here. The interactivity doesn't call attention to itself, and yet it does something that simply could not be done without interactivity. A really well-designed piece.
Rhetorical scrolling done well and … not so well
Rhetorical scrolling is the technique of using scrolling to help readers better grasp large numbers. The xkcd example works well because the large number (length of time since 20,000BC) is used as contrast to make a point about how fast temperature has risen recently. The BBC example works less well for two reasons. There's no corresponding point being made, and the scale varies so scrolling actually distorts the reader's understanding of the large number (i.e. distance to the centre of the earth)
What Unites and Divides Americans
Bells and whistles galore
How One of the Deadliest Hajj Accidents Unfolded
A really great example of how to help the reader switch contexts between text / photos / charts
How Uber Drivers Decide How Long to Work
Having your brain switch between processing text and processing images requires a big cognitive load. More so if the change is abrupt/jarring. This is a good counter-example of what not to do.
The FT's visual vocabulary
Xenographphboia: a fear of unusual graphics (and how to cure it)
The GIF is dead. Long live the GIF
An excellent example of how to use animation (and yes, GIFs) to explain complex processes
Olympics reaction time games: From the NYT, the FT, the WSJ
Note how there can be different variations on the same theme
How The New York Times is incorporating design into audience research
What it takes to really understand what your users want
Huh! for Iceland
This only took half a day to make
Why we didn’t use a cartogram in the Brexit map
Useful piece on some of the decisions that have to be made when using maps for data visualisation
How chance and choice collided inside the Pulse nightclub
How to create a strong emotional impact with just a 3D model and some flashing lights
The Voting Habits of Americans like you
How to explain a data set by taking someone through from simple to gradually more complex charts
A Weekend in Chicago
Shows what you can do with a timeline if you use it to tell a story instead of just marking events. Also note the manpower involved in making this.
FirstFT Quiz of the Week
First iteration of the FT's in-hous solution for making interactive quizzes
Red feed, Blue feed
A good example of a story that can't be done without code. Also, the value of showing something directly rather than telling people about it
Invasive species: the battle to beat the bugs
39 studies about human perception in 30 minutes
In case you ever wanted to geek about about the scientific evidence on how humans perceive graphics
The FT's junior doctor contracts graphic
Judge graphics the same way you judge stories written in prose. Why was this good? Clarity, conciseness and gives context
Clueless in the Digital Age
Why there's no magic to any of this and no one can give you the answers
Visualising basketball shots: Kobe Bryant (LA Times) and Steph Curry (FiveThirtyEight)
Compare and contrast the two approaches (Scroll down to about halfway on the FiveThirtyEight story to the 'Stephen Curry is one of the best' chart). The LA Times one is clearly more detailed and prettier (and interactive!). But the other tells you more.
A story woven from 4 years' worth of police arrest transcripts: A masterclass in how to tell a human story about the aggregate of all the records instead of individual arrest stories
Police Body Cameras: What do you see
A great example of what interactivity is particularly good for
Across Continents: A Stolen Laptop, An Ominous Email, And A Big Risk
A creative, visual way of drawing a reader into an audio story
The Above Chart newsletter
Data journalism started way before you think it did. Scott Klein's newsletter showcases early newspaper examples
How we created our 360-degree video interview with Michelle Obama
What it takes: a lot more thought was put into what it was good for, rather than technically how to do it
The great land rush
FT effort at visual storytelling for long-form, investigative journalism
Will you present the data as-is, or tell a story?
Useful tips on how to use charts to tell a story
How much warmer was your city in 2015?
Note the headline. This is a weather chart, but the headline makes explicit the reason why you would want to look at this. It makes you a promise that the interactive then delivers on
It’s here: Quartz’s first news app for iPhone
The biggest new experiment in how to deliver and present the news to mobile users
The NYPD Is Kicking People Out of Their Homes, Even If They Haven’t Committed a Crime
Note the reason why a map was used in this case: because the geography was important to highlight the correlation between nuisance abatement cases and minority neighbourhoods.
Note too how a map was not used in the table about the judges further down, despite geographical information about which district the judges were in.
The Waypoint - Washington Post's visual journey through Lesbos
Works great on mobile. Notice the (very small) amount of text