MakeoverMonday: US Tuition Fees

Hi gang. Unfortunately, this week has seen time get away from me. This week in the UK is a Bank Holiday. You don’t need to cry me a river, but after three days away, a long drive home, and fatigue setting in, I’ve not had time to do a finished Makeover today. I’ve also spent a good long time catching up on this week’s #MakeoverMonday tweets – what an amazing effort everyone’s put in this week!

I did try out some ideas.

I tried a table
I tried a table

I spend ages trying to create a table using panel chart techniques, but I couldn’t find a way to make it right. I submit the above for this week’s Makeover, even though it simply did not work. There are some other ideas below. Or go check out my workbook.

This week’s original (click here)

This week’s original had a mix of good and bad.

The good:

  • I like the idea of mixing map and bar chart. You get the geography and a precise way to compare states.
  • The bar chart is sorted, so you can easily find the biggest and the smallest tuition fees.
  • The map has Hawaii and Alaska included, inside a compact space.

What I’d improve:

  • It’s crying out for interactivity! I want to hover over this and see some details, and link the map to the bar.
  • The colour scheme is really saturated. It’s a bit too overwhelming, as if the whole thing HAS BEEN DESIGNED IN CAPS LOCK. I don’t know where to look first.
  • I do not like vertically oriented labels on the bar chart. If you want to label the bars, orient the bar chart vertically, too, and put it on the right-hand side of the map, not below it.

My other approaches included parameter driven highlighting, a butt-ugly small multiple state map and a small multiple area chart. They all had potential, but I’m out of time this week.

Traditional bar and percent change


A table with a map background


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