Thursday, May 6, 2010

Employment affected by recessions

This is a good visualization for observing and comparing employment rates in the given years. The visualization gives the reader a clear sense of comparison between various recessions and depressions, mainly the 'Great Depression' of the late 1920s and the current recession of 2007. The visualization also gives sufficient information relating to unemployment during those times by providing background stories of that time and other historic events or breakthrough that occurred simultaneously during the years of the recession/depression. The use sad-looking human figures to represent the data of unemployed people in the country in the form of a percentage is a very visually appealing manner to convey the information rather than using the conventional bar graph to represent the same data.

The length of the lines during the years of the Great Depression indicate the high amounts of unemployment that existed during those days with quite a variation between many of the years in that time frame. Another embedded visualization indicating the current recession allows an acute comparison between any/all the years of the Great Depression in contrast to the current years of the recession.

The visualization doesn't host a variety of colors but instead tries to capture the viewer's attention by the use of red human figures to represent data. The use of various distinct colors to represent the same data would allow viewers to easily associate a color with the said year or economic condition and thus reduce analysis time providing the viewer with immediate results. Background information is considered optional and complementary to the actual data of the unemployment rate and is thus marked with a dull color thus further focusing the viewer's attention on the actual data itself.

Considering that only an extreme minority of the population suffers from extreme color-blindness in which they cannot recognize the color 'Red' at all, the use of red for displaying critical information is a good choice. However, various colors could be used to represent varying levels and ranges of unemployment thus allowing viewers to easily group those levels of unemployment and compare them with other groups as well as unemployment percentages for various years over the period othe current recession or the Great Depression.

An alternate version, portraying critical data representation, for color-blind people should also be available in order to serve the visualization to color-blind people as well.

The picture is sufficient in its level of simplicity as it only displays one form of information while also allowing viewers to easily compare various value across years and time periods. The information is static thus allowing no human interaction and is thus always guaranteed to have consistency in its information portrayal.

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