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Week 9: How the recession reshaped the economy
10-23-2014, 08:37 PM
Post: #1
Week 9: How the recession reshaped the economy
Week 9: How the recession reshaped the economy.

Link of the article:

This visualization is a representation of how recession has reshaped the nation’s job market. The graph gives a plot of wages (lower to higher) on the x-axis to jobs in y-axis. The graph is color coded with green and red colors showing whether the industries have recovered or declined respectively. The graph also provides a mouse roll-over with a widget popping out to show the details of a particular industry. The widget gives a lower level detail of that industry with a monthly job report. The graph also provides 8 different options with the first one comprising of the trends from all the industries and the other 7 concentrating on particular sectors of the industry.


1. The representation gives an overall idea of the job trends in the industry between the years 2004 -2013. It has represented data from 255 different charts in this visualization. Even though the graph is a cluttered for the first option, it has represented a huge amount of data as well.

2. The mouse roll over effect helps us to get the details of a particular industry and also see the overall effect of recession on that industry and also the lower level details of that particular industry.


1. Color coding could have been better. The green and red colors make it easier to figure out whether an industry has recovered or declined. But it is hard to distinguish between not recovered and accelerated decline and also unaffected, recovered and grown. These sub-categories could have been represented with better color coding which makes it easier to distinguish them.

2. Not sure how they arrived at the 7 different sub categories for users to choose from or how relevant they are. For example, the second option of “More bad – and good - jobs” did not make much sense.

Suggested improvements:

1. Search feature for industry: To search for a particular industry and see the trend is very difficult from this visualization. A search feature or a dropdown menu which helps to select a particular industry which the user wishes to see the trend would have been more effective and the user would not have gotten lost in the clutter.


Overall, I believe the visualization could have been made better in terms of features provided to the user and sub categorizing the data.
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10-26-2014, 12:23 AM
Post: #2
RE: Week 9: How the recession reshaped the economy
I completely agree with gita's viewpoint. It is indeed a an extremely unique visualization design . However it took me few seconds to completely understand the details being represented .

Pros: As gita rightly pointed out, the visualization is a very good summary. It gives a fairly good idea about the performance of different industry sectors over past decade.

Cons: The scattered form of displaying the line graphs appears to be quite difficult for the person looking at the design for the first time. I felt using some kind of enclosing and grouping similar sector industries into one unit would have been more suitable way to represent the data. People would then be able to select a particular shape which would pop out and then allow people to view performance of different industries in that sector.
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10-26-2014, 11:06 AM
Post: #3
RE: Week 9: How the recession reshaped the economy
The things which I liked about the visualization are :

1. Really good use of spatial position to show a lot of data.
2. Excellent usage of filtering,transparency and highlighting techniques to visualize the data.
3. Mouse hover to show detailed data. The description of the trends during the individual months from the years 2004-2013 has been brilliantly rendered as and when we move our mouse/pointer along.

The aspects which could be improved in the visualization are :

1. The selection of hues for the 5 different categories could be improved like Gita has pointed out. Its hard to distinguish between the variations of the same color without looking very closely into the visualization.

2. Although we have a legend in the overview/summary chart, we don't have the legends being displayed in the other 7 charts. Again this could have been the choice of the visualization designer. But personally I would have the legend in each of the charts due to he concept of "Eyes over memory".

3. The description on the summary chart and on few of the other charts hides a portion of the graph and though the designer has tried to show those points by having them marked in gray, it took me a while to actually realize that there were data points beneath the graph too.

4.If I were to be too critical, the mouse rollover though it gives us a detailed view, occludes a portion of the visualization which is close to the point of interest.

Taking into effect the pros and cons, overall the visualization does a really good job of describing or showing trends of how recession shaped the economy.
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10-26-2014, 04:04 PM
Post: #4
RE: Week 9: How the recession reshaped the economy
I agree with gita's critique. The mouse rollover is extremely helpful and lets the user see that field's change over time. I agree that the color coding could have been better. Perhaps three colors could have been used for increased, unaffected, and decreased. Red and green were probably bad choices as well (especially for users who are color blind). I also liked how scrolling down highlighted certain categories.
I think that a search would be an interesting addition. However, I think that this could be extremely difficult if the user didn't have the exact name of the job. For example, one of the fields is "Other Professional Services" so if a user was searching for a job put in this field and didn't know it was in other, then it may not show up. Another addition I would make to this visualization would be the ability to zoom. There is a lot of data in the middle of the visualization that is difficult to distinguish between and a zoom would help that.
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10-26-2014, 05:43 PM
Post: #5
RE: Week 9: How the recession reshaped the economy
I agree with Gita that this visualization represents too much of data and the sub categories did not make much sense. Though the small multiple graph plots gives a more detailed representation for each industrial category, it is very hard to search the information of a particular industry.

I think the different shades of green represents industries unaffected and recovered and grown and different shades of red to not recovered and accelerated decline. Though, this information is not readily available from the main graph, but only when looking at the small multiples.

Overall, this visualization does well in showing trends, but could be made better by providing more features and interactivity to the user.
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10-27-2014, 11:40 AM
Post: #6
RE: Week 9: How the recession reshaped the economy
I liked the first main visualization "A Mixed Recovery". At first I thought there was too much going on, but I like how it's easy to choose a line based on whether jobs are down or up, and by general salary range. I don't like how you have to scroll down and you don't know what you're going see. It makes me feel claustrophobic. I like to have an overall view and know the context (like a table of contents).
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10-27-2014, 06:35 PM
Post: #7
RE: Week 9: How the recession reshaped the economy
This is a very good visualization for its good usage of channels and information expression. What I prefer are:
1.Wages and job tendency are clear using x and y axis. Fields with economic recession are distinguished by color. These basic visual give us a overview of economy combing with context.
2. Detailed data is shown both through line filtering and split screens. Explanation context is appropriate.
But there are still some shortages:
1.Although five different chroma are used to represent degrees of economy restoration, it's difficult to figure out.
2.Too many job types that is difficult for me to find a specific one.
3.It's good for us to understand if we read it carefully. But at the first glance, it's hard to comprehend encoding ways.
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10-30-2014, 03:30 PM
Post: #8
RE: Week 9: How the recession reshaped the economy
At first glance, I thought this was a terrible visualization, as it just looks like hairball. However, the visualization gets better as you scroll and certain lines are highlighted (and others are faded).

Although the green/red dichotomy should be avoided, despite the historical symbolism of gains and losses, I like how the vis uses varying shades to indicate degree of gain or loss. However, the shades of green are easier to distinguish between than the shades of red, so overall I don't think color is effective in this visualization.

Finally, I get that the vis is using real data, but I find the fluctuations in the lines distracting (and they add to the hairball effect). I think the vis would be more effective if they had straightened the lines out, just to give the gist of the change.
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