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October 9, 2016

Makeover Monday: How satisfied are people with public transportation in some of Europe's biggest cities?

This week for #MakeoverMonday, we look at this simple stacked bar chart of public transportation satisfaction survey results from the Financial Times.

I first saw this survey in print at Gatwick airport on my way to Prague, then it appeared in feedly. I know from speaking to John Burn-Murdoch that the print and online graphics standards are different. The print version I actually found easier to understand because it used blue for negative sentiment.

What works well?

  • Clear sorting by very satisfied
  • Sticks to their color guidelines
  • Simple title

What could be done differently?
  • Use different colours for the negative and positive sentiment
  • Add an overall score (like net promoter score)
  • Include 2012 for comparison so that you can see which of these cities improved
  • Add a more descriptive title so it's even more clear what the audience is looking at

I used a few resources to help me create my final visualisation:

First, I recreated the FT viz, but with different colors for negative and positive sentiment. I also included bar charts in the tooltips.

Next, I included 2012 and labeled the bars where they fit.

I don't particularly like the labels on the bars, so I've removed them from the final version. I also changed the bars to a Likert scale, which moves the negative to the left and positive to the right, and helps shows the discrepancy better. I also included the net promoter score.

Last, I added a slope graph to help show the change and included a more descriptive title and subtitle. You can click on any bar and it'll highlight in both places.


  1. I have been coming to this site a lot learning about Tableau, so thank you for all of your examples and tutorials. My question stems around the 'square' or 'rectangle' string character that I see in some of your workbooks. For instance, it is used within this formula for the 'Not at all satisfied bar' formula.

    It is like a grey block and I have been trying to figure out how to generate it for a day or so now. Would you please share with me how you generate this character?

    Many thanks.

    1. I copy them from here.