#Data19 has come and gone, but there are still seven weeks left of 2019, so it’s time to finish strong. This week’s #MakeoverMonday data set, ‘Smartphone Ownership Among Youth Is on the Rise,’ comes to us from Common Sense. Below is a look at the viz we made over this week.
What works with the original viz
- Labeling the years directly to the left of each line chart (although not needed as we will discuss later).
- The line charts do make it easy to compare 2015 vs. 2019, for each age group. However…
What could be improved
- Even though the viz has a label for age on the x-axis, it’s difficult for my brain to not want to think the line charts indicate change over time. Therefore, I would shy away from using a line chart in this situation, as it can cause confusion.
- My go to for this type of analysis would typically be a dumbbell chart, like the image below as I feel it’s one of the best ways to show change between two periods. However, I felt the need to try something new, so I saved the dumbbells for another day.
- It’s unnecessary to label every mark on the view, as it distracts the reader from focusing on the visualization.
- There’s also no need for dots and grid lines at every age increment. A better approach would be to swap the x-axis (age) grid lines and for y-axis (ownership) ones instead.
- Changing the title to a shade of gray and color coding the years in the title (2015 blue and 2019 yellow) would remove the need for the year labels in the view.
- I wanted the focus to be on the change from 2015 to 2019, so I called that out directly in the title.
- As I mentioned earlier, it’s really easy in a situation like this to just go with a dumbbell chart. However, I wanted to try a variation of Jeffrey Shaffer’s progress bars.
- Since the values for 2019 are greater, I set 2019 as thin lines in the background of the thick, 2015 gray bars. I then labeled the 2019 bars as the difference in percentage points from 2015 to 2019.
- For instance, in 2019 53% of 11 year old children owned a Smartphone vs. just 32% in 2015. That’s a difference of 21 percentage points.
Click here for the interactive version.
Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day!