I have seen a lot of interactive graphics online, and I am really impressed by some of the interactive maps with tremendous information and data behind it. But sometimes, it’s easy to get lost when you can just hover over each county, or each small region and get some information for each one of them. So I really like the interactive graphics with some emphasized information (the graphic designer has selected for me) and a better hierarchy of organizing.
This timeline of Michael Jackson’s hot songs is an example of a simple interactive graphic with limited choices for audience. I can only click on the seven time period/album. It’s very easy to select the information that I want because I don’t have a whole lot of choices.
It worked well with the organizing of the songs and albums. Before I click on one album, the small icon below the timeline has a rough curve of what’s it will look like (Very useful). If I click on one album, then all the songs that were in the hot 100 showed up with a more precise curve that illustrates its hotness. It’s pretty clear in terms of what songs are in the hot list, and how did it change over time (A lot of information actually).
The transparency effect of the albums at the bottom and the non-transparency of the album clicked on make it easy for audiences to understand which album they are currently staying on. The image on the left upper corner showed up after clicking also help audiences match the information for each album.
Another thing that needs mentioning is the “previous” and “next” bottom right under the headline. It’s very handy when audiences want to go over every album quickly, or when they don’t want to select each one of the album but just want to go over each one chronically to find out the overall trend.
Good interactive graphic should be easy to understand and very simple for audiences to find the information they need. I think this graphic did great in presenting information in an organized way.
There are a couple of additional features I wish this graphic would have that would make it even better. First of all, I hope to hear the music at some point. Maybe when we click on one album it automatically runs the hottest song of the album, and, maybe keep playing his best songs/most famous songs on the homepage. Secondly, I hope the shift from one album to another can be less abrupt than it is right now. I think this effect is a deliberate choice of the graphic designer, but I feel a little uncomfortable with the quick shift because it’s kind of distracting.