My 2nd time entering Iron Viz!
I’ll keep it short and sweet for this blog, I do tend to ramble on a little. What I hope to cover off are a few useful resources that directly or indirectly impacted my viz. I won’t cover off anything in relation to the competition, the mark scheme, or any of that malarky, because well, it’s not needed.
See, no rambling!
- DATA PREP – CODE
This year was a little different to last year. Last year, sure the data needed to be prepped in the right way but my viz mainly comprised of tennis stats that I had sitting waiting for me. This year required a lot of manual preparation! I needed to find some ways to cut this down.
I’ve attached to my github a slice of code that will look to extract the Youtube Transcript. This made it a lot easier to find important quotes from each episode.
This is how the code formatted the transcript, each line with the voice note and timestamp. Here is the introductory snippet from the episode with Ben Francis.
I imagine a lot of people this year found data prep more time consuming than previous years, but to use it to an advantage it really can make you understand it on a deeper level.
2. FIGMA FONTS
Fonts Fonts Fonts
A handy trick I came across in Figma was a plug-in called “Font Preview”. You can download it here. This was a saviour. The plugin allows you to scroll through all the different fonts on Figma. It quickly allows you too whittle it down to a few favourites.
I fell into the too many cooks trap asking a lot of people which font they preferred. Low and behold everyone picked different ones. Nightmare! Turns out Dekko came out on top in votes. I went with Indie Flower anyway… gut feeling. Having created the wireframe it was fairly quick to swap fonts out and test what looked best.
Adding a little spacing between lines helped too (see 35). I’m no typography pro, but felt this spacing really helped the viz breathe in the right way.
Above is the setting that was applied, you can see how this spacing really impacts the viz text layout.
3. BLURRY OVERLAYS
Figma can be a little fuzzy at times. I use to be under the impression that if I was to export my Figma file as 4x and then apply the image with “Fit Image” and “Centre Image” then it would be the best resolution.
For background images, this is what I tend to do!
For overlays however it does come out blurry:
My recommendation would be not to use “Fit Image” for overlays.
In fact, create the box shape in Tableau that your image will fit. In my case, this was a 847×222 image.
The important part is in Figma you will want to build it to the same size!
4. LEVERAGE WORKBOOKS AND BLOGS
I went through every single one of Zak Geis’ tableau tips and picked ones that I thought would be useful for my workbook to reverse engineer. I really liked Zak’s Design Card used here. You will see I’ve pinched the aesthetic from it somewhat.
I actually used Toan Hoang’s blog to recreate the line charts to smooth out the chart as felt this was a really easy blog to follow. There is something quite beautiful in being able to link different community members work and tap into different methods of creation.
Really, all of Zaks tips are pretty cool. My favourite, even though I didn’t use it is, is this Table!
What a legend. He does some crazy stuff with curves. It didn’t feel right not having a single curve in my viz. It felt bare without it. Having toyed with building a network diagram, it simply wasn’t sitting right with me so chose to go down the arc diagram route.
Low and behold, the knight in shining armour. Bezier curves! I would recommend anyone to go give this tutorial a go, its really simple to follow and I actually built it with the original dataset first before applying it to my data. Thanks Brian.
We’ve got some truly incredible talent here.
Adam gave me a super useful suggestion on tooltips. He did this through breaking my viz when i posted it originally… awkward.
AG: “I wonder if you need to turn off the tick boxes in your tooltip setting to stop people filtering the dots. Blue line chart and red line chart dots both allow the keep only exclude option”
Example of clicking a chart when unticked tooltip response:
Vs when you leave command buttons and allow selection on:
Admittedly I need to go back and add this to a whole bunch of dashboards I’ve done.
Whilst you’re here…If you’d like to hear more about all the great things going on here at JLL, do reach out.
6. WHO’S IN YOUR CORNER?
You don’t need to necessarily hear too many opinions, just a select few who will take the time to give you honest feedback. For me, this years submission Sarah Bartlett really was a great support network. I am very appreciative of the time she gave me both for feedback as well as general support when about 3 weeks in I thought I might just scrap my viz. I’m grateful for her uplifting nature.
I had the delight of being both giving feedback and receiving feedback from the initiative Sarah set-up. Do feel free to read more on it here, it was a major success. If i was to utilise the feedback sessions again, I’d recommend to myself using them early and going through multiple iterations.
I eneded up booking my own session towards the end, it was caveated with please don’t grill me too badly I only have two days left! Nonetheless both Sarah and Emily Kund gave some insightful commentary around accessibility, colour, sizing and pre-attentive attributes – which made all the difference for my final few days working on it.
7. ADOBE COLOUR
I played around with a colour tool on Adobe, where I also created my palette to try and make sure it was suitable for all eyesight’s. You can put it through a colour blind simulator. The colours I aimed for was to amplify the idea of a diary notebook (dark blue pen on cream paper) with complementary soft pastel colours.
My colour palette was a bit of mismatch of multiple palettes I had previously used. If you’d like to used some of the main colours they are as followed:
I’ll have a follow up blog on colour coming out next month!
8. WIDER INSPIRATION
Nothing too new here, but when I figured out my network chart wasn’t going to work I hit the drawing board again. Where else to go other than Pinterest and Behance. I tend to use behance for overall graphic design ideas and pinterest for more chart inspiration, but that’s just me. I particularly think this beatles viz was well designed so started exploring arc charts.
I quite like that the arcs have dotted lines, I think I will play around with that idea in Tableau soon. I’ve briefly covered the dashed line in full circles before in previous blogs, but this has acted as a reminder I could use it for arcs too.
That’s it for the IV resources. Told you it was a short one!
I just want to end on how amazing it’s been to look through the 200 entries this year, I am constantly learning from the community and can’t wait to cheer 3 of you on stage in May.