Friday, May 20, 2016

Playful visualization

A visualization that shows data and reveals some patterns or trends can be good; a visualization that lets you interact with the data may be better; but a visualization that transforms the interaction into a playful, game-like experience usually has a greater potential of engaging readers.

Just consider this project by FiveThirtyEight. Beginning with the title, which changes every few seconds, the whole package is delightful. It begins with a game in which you can manipulate the turnout and the vote of five groups, and it continues with a series of scatter plots and a large table which describe how those groups behaved in previous elections.

A project like this may appeal mainly to wonks, but I have the hunch that this is exactly the audience its designers had in mind. Oh, and it works well on mobile.