Makeover Monday – week 13, 2017: The Secret of Success

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Success – who doesn’t want a piece of it? Andy chose the topic this week with an appalling visualisation, which makes it a perfect Makeover Monday candidate. Appaling? But it’s pretty, Eva!


What I like about it

  • The colours are nice and prominent, they work well together and are distinct from one another
  • The colour legend uses the shape of each ‘blob’ which, while not necessary, helps with recognition
  • The title has me intrigued


What I don’t like about it

  • where to start…
  • ‘Poor need to change their life approach’ – WTF? More like: the author needs to review his attitude… this is very condescending and inappropriate, especially for someone publishing such a viz on a page which will likely have significant traffic directed to it
  • where is data from, when and how was it collected, what do the numbers mean and how big was the sample size? None of this information is provided
  • the icons add no value to the viz
  • how are the different categories or reasons for success defined?
  • what defines success? Is it financial independence? Is it ‘status symbols’? Is it a harmonious family life and health and well-being?
  • how are people categorized into ‘poor’, ‘middle class’ and ‘rich’? And why use the terms ‘poor’ and ‘rich’ which are emotionally charged and judgmental?

Suffice to say, this viz really pushed my buttons, so I tried to tell the story in a better way.

What I did

  • I didn’t have enough information about the data, so I tried to make the most of it without too many assumptions
  • I focused on the main differences and the area where people seemed to agree on factors leading to success
  • I also added a chart showing the different opinions at the bottom of the viz to provide context without too much clutter
  • with my focus on telling a story rather than showing a dashboard, I went for a mobile design that people could view and understand quickly and easily

(Click to view on Tableau Public)


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