Data visualization style guide

PDF handout, templates for Tableau

SOC is a department of the Government of Catalonia responsible for the design and execution of employment policies. They need to analyse lots of data, to make sure they address the needs of the right people, and also to evaluate whether the policies are working.

We have been working with SOC for a long time on different projects. First, we trained them in data visualization. Then, we developed a data visualization style guide, to set a standard for the visual analysis, exploration and communication of data. Further on, we have collaborated to develop complex web visualizations that they cannot do on their own.

The main objective of the style guide is that any existing member of the team has a reference guide to follow when they have to design a data visualization to analyse, explore or communicate data. It also helps new team members rapidly adapt to SOC’s visualization standards.

The style guide covers topics such as:

  • Types of charts and when to use them.
  • Design with color, size, form, layout,...
  • Use of text in titles, annotations, labels,...
  • Interactivity

Together with the style guide, we can also provide templates for the most common charts, developed with the tools that the client uses (Tableau, Power BI, Excel, web, etc.). Sometimes, we even provide templates for common use cases of the client, such as dashboards or power point presentations.

Challenges achieved

  • Set the design standards for the exploration, analysis and communication of data.
  • Establish a process to develop new data visualizations.
  • Help the client identify the most common types of charts they should use.
  • Develop style guides and templates that can be used to rapidly develop new data visualizations.

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