Just want to say upfront that VizClub March Edition was a huge improvement on the last session.
- #ThrowbackThursday was on (that was me)
- The dataset was required less than 3.5 hours of cleanup (thank you JMac)
- Beer was on tap (which I got in on since I realized Coffee and Pizza just didn’t make sense)
Big shout out to Sophie who was kind enough to provide the pizzas despite being sick.
Sophie also made another huge contribution to our viz session – being the first to introduce unicode characters as a navigation element to create a fluid user experience. I first wrote about unicode characters in vizzes with the Data School so I’m always finding new uses for them. It’s so easy to do, I’ll be stealing it for my own future vizzes!
Here’s a gif of the viz moving through the storypoints with unicode characters.
Read below on how to do this for your own vizzes!
Step 1: Copy and Paste a Large Circle Unicode character (like this one!) into your storypoints template.
Step 2: Here’s the magic. Set the font so the unicode character will stand out.
Here I’ve set it to size 28. Go into Story->Format and set the shading in Navigator to “No Fill”. Then squish the titles on the top and bottom so they line up perfectly line a series of dots…just like navigating through a slick app.
Voila! Next level design in 1 minute right?
Getting back to Viz Club, in terms of exploring the dataset, we found a couple of interesting insights.
- Overall consumption of sugar as a product in itself has gone down over the years (probably displaced by other sugary products)
- Vegetable consumption has also gone down 🙁
Then somehow we got to the introduction of our story when we were looking at the consumption of milk in the early 80s. Wondering why there was a spike in ’82, we realized that Margaret Thatcher’s tax cuts in education boomed the consumer market for milk. For me and Andy, who are from North America, this is something we never knew about UK politics!
Couldn’t believe it actually shows up in the google search
Another interesting insight was looking at how potato consumption has changed in the UK.
@davidmpires Took this picture of the area charts of potatoes. I think the dip was actually due to a bad crop year, rather than a sudden decreased appetite.
You might be curious to wonder why the middle of that horrendous area chart there is a dip. Luckily we were too, and found out there was a heatwave in 1976 and a potato shortage in the US.
More importantly, what did people eat if not potatoes? Turns out, they SWITCHED to a new market of potatoes – notably instant potatoes.
By the way, if you click on the this image, it will take you to this viz where the ad will start playing. This was intentional as we’ve already established it was #throwbackthursday and automatic music on websites was THE hip thing to do in the 2000’s #RIPmyspace.
Apparently the people at Cadbury’s were smart cookies and did this very clever(?) ad for Smash Mash Potatoes. I’m told everyone and their grandmother has seen this but here it is if you haven’t. Skyrocketed the sales of instant potatoes I’m sure.
We capped off the night with another beer as I sped formatted the viz. Overall, it was a fantastic night of pizza, beer and learning about politics and robot aliens! Can’t wait for the next one 😀