I think one of the difficult things for me with graphics is that I have a tendency to like straightforward designs and portrayals of information that still remain visually compelling. And that honestly isn’t an easy task. People are much more prone to create something that floats on either side of the balance–something that’s too simple and lacks visual interest, or something that’s impressive visually, but doesn’t seem to convey the information well.
I think this graphic from Tracking Poverty and Policy regarding poverty in the United States is a prime example of what I like to try to create and what I look for when I’m looking through websites or newspapers. The breakdown of the numbers here is primarily based in pie charts and vertical bar charts, which sound simple enough. But as you rollover each pie on the six pages that this graphic is spread over, you get a more detailed breakdown of the poverty numbers. They also give brief chatter with each stat that gives just the right amount of context for the levels of poverty for each demographic.
I know it’s not the most complicated thing in the world and isn’t necessarily innovative in its use of interactivity and visuals, but I think it balances efficacy and visual intrigue better than most.