The NSA Files: Decoded – what the surveillance revelations mean for you blew my mind already for being an amazing interactive online story telling piece with crazy amount of attention to detail, perfect layout and all the other design stuff. But this one, Gay rights in the US, state by state, just boosts the Guardians to a even higher level.
Trying to tell a story about gay rights is never a simple task especially when the range is “state by state.” It can be either super boring to read with tons of stats and text if you try to tell the reader everything or too superficial, losing all the importance if you make it too generic. The web designers from the Guardians found the best way to tell a compelling, interesting story about this serious issue. They combine infographic with amazing simple but super fun interactive feature. The design is consistent as all the states are illustrated in a pie chart. Colors are added to serve as certain annotation which is very clear to understand. The whole experience is straight forward and engaging. Viewers are able to see and check whichever factor about gay rights they are interested in, marriage, housing, employment, etc.
This is by far one of the greatest combination of interactive online story plus infographics. What we can learn right here is the importance of being consistent with your design. You may call it “keep it simple” but technically it’s about consistency with your design language. Set up color palette, design elements and one central design direction before you started to work on anything physically in the web. Viewers don’t prefer how fancy or how many cool design elements are there on a website but prefer a decent-looking, unique and user friendly one. Remember that.