Makeover Monday week 47, 2017: Snapchat is Tops with American Teens

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Incredibly we are already at week 47. That means that after this week there are only 5 makeovers to go for 2017. Crazy, right?

Don’t despair, Makeover Monday will continue in 2018, of course, and we are actually already working behind the scenes on some changes and improvements to make this project bigger and better so it can benefit more data analysts and enthusiasts in the future.

If you’re keen to find out what’s coming in 2018, please register for our live webinar (watch it on demand if you can’t join at the time) and hear the news on December 21.

For week 47, Andy picked a viz in need of a serious makeover and showing (or trying to) the popularity of the photo sharing app Snapchat compared to other social media apps.


What works well:

  • Using distinct colours for each platform
  • A catchy title that has a nice rhythm to it (try saying it out loud)
  • A useful subtitle that explains what the numbers show
  • The data source is included
  • Labelling each platform clearly


What could be improved:

  • The colours are not intuitive. Why not choose the colours that are associated with each platform’s brand?
  • Using colour gradients and not applying them to the data values but rather the time period is not logical to me, because my intuition tells me that a darker colour means better performance. I’d suggest keeping the colour the same all throughout and instead labelling the time period on the chart
  • The legend used for the time period requires me to look back and forth until it ‘clicks’ because while it ‘explains’ the shading, it is actually a gradient from grey to black, therefore not reflecting any of the colours that are actually on the chart
  • The labels for the percentage values look messy for Instagram and Facebook because the bar height doesn’t change as much, so they are very close together. Are all these labels necessary given the axis and gridlines?


What I did:

  • I created a mobile viz because it seemed like the logical thing to do
  • I stripped all the colour out of it and went monochrome with shades of grey
  • Initially I considered a slope graph but instead settled for a line chart including all dates
  • I added big icons to driver interaction
  • and in the end I lost my mojo, so I didn’t create the viz I originally planned, but I’m okay with that 🙂

Click on the image below to interact with the viz





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