Data Viz Done Right

August 6, 2018

Makeover Monday: America's Contribution to Worldwide Research & Development Steadily Declined From 2011 to 2015

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Back to London and back to work this week after a wonderful holiday in Scotland. This week, Eva is asking us to makeover this visualization from HowMuch.net.


What works well?

  • The title is clear, making the topic easily known.
  • The big numbers work well for the larger circles.
  • It's an innovative design, but that doesn't mean it effective.
  • Citing the sources

What could be improved?

  • Pretty much everything
  • The sequence is too hard to understand.
  • The color legend is sorted descending.
  • The colors on the ends are too similar.
  • There's way too much text, making it all feel very squished.
  • The color ranges aren't of equivalent size.
  • The maps of each country inside the circles don't add any value.
  • It would take forever to find out where a country ranked.

My Goals

  • Throw away everything they did and start over.
  • I really liked the simplicity of Eva's viz, so I went with her idea of focusing on just the US.
  • I wanted to understand how the contribution the US has made has changed over time.
  • Use the official Makeover Monday color palette


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