Social Indicator Chart presented at the DWM Workshop Namur

March 12, 2014

The usage of design principles is the basis for the development of insightful data visualizations. In particular, the scalability of visualization was the topic at the DWM Workshop in Namur, Belgium. Design principles are not only useful for data visualization but also commonly used in advertising, illustrating complex content, and product design. The basic idea is always the same to shape an idea for clear communication. If you use design principles in your data visualization, you can figure out patterns, outliers, and eliminating noise of data.

The Social Indicator chart conducts the four design principles similarity, size, relation, and proximity as one example for how-to use this principles in data visualization.

  1. Similarity: Each percentage rate indicating smoking or repeated drunkenness is displayed as circle. The comparison is made possible through similar looking shapes to point out the same meaning.
  2. Size: The size of a bubble matters and represents high and low rates.
  3. Relation: Relationships can not only be displayed through a line instead you can use symbolism like the highly used color blue for boys and pink for girls.
  4. Proximity: The objects are closer the more percentage rates between boys and girls are equal.

Proximity as last design principle was used to point out the comparison between boys and girls. You can see that girls are smoking more than boys in Europe, if you choose “regular cigarette smoking” and the years “2005-06″. If “Repeated drunkeness” was chosen the opposite happens and boys are more dominant in drinking alcoholic drinks.

See the visualization

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