Data Viz Done Right

April 11, 2016

Makeover Monday: From Millions to Billions

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Today is my 9 year anniversary using Tableau. On April 11, 2007, I downloaded a trial of Tableau 3.0 and my life has never been the same. What better way to celebrate than working on Makeover Monday and creating my first mobile dashboard.

This week’s Makeover Monday was quite tough. How do you take a viz that’s already great and make it better? Or how do you tell the story differently? I wrote about this viz on my other site (DataVizDoneRight.com) a couple weeks ago. Here’s the viz again:


What works well?

  • Title catches your attention
  • Subtitle makes you more interested and sets up the story
  • Very well organized
  • Clear labeling of the headers
  • Pictures of the faces make it feel more real
  • Consistent use of colors makes it easy to understand and follow
  • Nice totals on the right for context and they’re out of the way as to not distract
  • Dark background works well and makes the bars pop out
  • Great tooltips!
  • Fantastic sorting interactivity
  • Great spacing; there’s a lot of information yet it still feels simple


What could be be improved?

  • Include a filter for gender
  • Include more women
  • Change the mark type for the ends


So given how good this is already and how little I saw that I could do to make it better, I thought I would use this week to practice making a mobile version, formatted for iPhone 6. I rarely create visualisations specifically for mobile and the only way to improve that ability is to practice.

Adding the filter for gender was easy. Including more women was out of scope.

Notice that I changed the ends of each bar to dots. I did this because I think the vertical bars are a bit tough to see; I wanted to make it easer for the viewer.

One challenge I had was that I wanted the sorting to be “touchable” like the gender filter is, but I couldn’t get it to work. I didn’t want to spend a ton of time fiddling with it, so I resorted to a parameter for the sorting.

I’d like to hear what you think about this mobile version. Does it work well? What could I do to make it better mobile experience?

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