Makeover Monday week 52, 2017: Christmas trees sold in the US from 2004 to 2016

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Merry Christmas everyone!

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas celebration and peaceful holidays surrounded by your loved ones.

If you don’t celebrate Christmas, enjoy the holidays (-;.

If you’re working, then hopefully it’ll be at least a few relaxing days while everyone else is in a food coma.


For this week’s Makeover Monday I picked a small and simple dataset because I want those who participate to spend as little time as possible in front of their screens (-;.

We’re looking at Christmas trees sold in the US based on a visualisation by Statista.



What works well:

  • using two distinct colours to differentiate tree types
  • simple bar charts make comparisons easy
  • stacking the bars to show total number of trees sold in comparison


What could be improved:

  • a lot of non-data ink could be removed, e.g. column banding, gridlines, column field labels
  • while the website provides context with the chart, it is always a good idea to include a clear title directly with the chart which is missing here
  • the labels have an unnecessary halo or outline for each number making them harder to read
  • the line between the dark and lighter blue section of the bars is unnecessary and in fact should be removed. It creates space which should only be taken up by data
  • the colour legend would be better placed closer to the top
  • consistent labels: all with one decimal point


What I did:

  • a simpler bar chart
  • adding more tree-relevant colours
  • looking at percentages of total trees sold instead of actual values to show the increasing popularity of fake trees



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