Cooper has just published the second in a six article series about Elections for UX Magazine. Below is an excerpt from the article "Winning the Primary Election with Data Visualization" written by Jim Dibble. Read the full article on UX Magazine

In addition to following your favorite candidate’s progress during election season, as a UX designer, you can find new inspiration for ways in which to help your users explore data.

Election season offers UX designers lessons and inspiration for helping users understand and explore data. In addition to following your favorite candidate’s progress during election season, as a UX designer, you can find new inspiration for ways in which to help your users explore data. In this article, I’ll take a look at a couple of the different news and political sites, and see how they’ve used interactive data visualizations to help readers better understand the complex data behind election predictions and results.

There are myriad ways to present election data. As with all information and interaction design, your method of presentation depends on the type of reader you’re trying to reach and the types of questions you’re helping them answer — do you want to help them understand the likelihood of future results or to help them interpret how demographics and behavior influenced votes in the past?

I’ll take a look at several strategies for presenting data, depending on whether the user is looking forward to predict potential results or looking backward to understand how demographics and issues influenced results. During election season, readers want to examine data from several perspectives:

  • Looking forward to upcoming primary results
  • Understanding election results as they arrive
  • Looking back to understand the meaning of what has happened
  • Predicting the future
  • Playing “what if” scenarios with the data
  • We’ll look at good and bad examples of each in this election cycle, and then pull out some general principles for data visualization that can be applied for any examination of data.

Read all of Jim's article here on UX Magazine.