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SWD week 03: tables

helpful visual* etc. strategies

  • Heatmap* or bars* to compare quantities
  • Icons* or colors* to represent entities
  • Arrows* to show change or relationship
  • Group like columns with shared (or implicit) heading

Were Slytherins Only Pure-bloods? Heatmaps for Hogwarts Houses
By Megan Johanson | 20 September 2020

Commentary & discussion include related links

Theft-worthy: Modified heatmap (high intensity for top value, low for non-zeros) with category-fitting colors.

Improvable: Add row with number of characters (out of 54) to compare data basis per house; choose on-brand font to complement colors.

European Microstates: Visualizing Table with Map
By Robert Boomgaard | 24 September 2020

Theft-worthy: Picking a small but interesting dataset; combining table format with multiple visuals (timeline, mapping, heatmap…).

Improvable: Sort and label data consistently (age or size first? match names in table & below map); disambiguate heatmap for 1,000+ vs. 10,000+ km^2.

Top Grossing U.S. Films This Century: How to Design Tables (and Lists)
By Brett Lohmeyer | 6 September 2020

Commentary includes worthwhile NNG tips re: lists and productive feedback exchange

Theft-worthy: juxtaposing numbers & bars + icons; wording title, subtitle, and annotations effectively to highlight trends.

Improvable: Make Star Wars stand out by boldfacing its titles, adjusting icon sizing/color (relative to others), and/or placing SW brackets furthest left. (Also, agree monospace font better for Year column and Decade superfluous.)

Approved Operations By Country: Concatenating Data Into Fewer Columns
By Rodrigo Calloni | 25 September 2020

Theft-worthy: Improving table readability by “concatenat[ing] data” (combining several columns into each), varying font size and black/gray for visual hierarchy, and adding bars + icons to reinforce key elements.

Improvable: Sort rows logically; use colon instead of dot after “Keywords” in col. 2 to avoid ambiguity with dot in col. 1; add space after each comma in col. 1.

Top 10 Routes By Revenue: Tweaking the Details
By Jennifer Rash | 18 September 2020

Theft-worthy: Replacing borders with alignment and monospaced font; adding repeat icon (arrow) that reinforces significance; trimming header wording by subgrouping. (And certainly: sorting + titling to identify key stories.)

Improvable: I’d keep font same size throughout and left-justify the subheadings. Also, do all 3 low performers impact margins negatively, or only the 1 lowest?

bonus models

L-to-R hierarchies

rankings across categories

By Sandra Garcia | 10 September 2020 | See commentary for data source & productive feedback

Improvable: Replace numbers for UN enumeration (colors + words tie enough) with frequency of each in Top 3 (e.g. Quality Education: 4x, Climate Action: 2x, Reduce Inequalities: 1x). OR provide that information in the lower right table (also showing which of the 17 occur 0x among Top 3).


By Cole Nussbaumer-Knaflic | 22 September 2020 | See commentary for design choices & takeaway insights 🙂