Right now, everyone is being hit with huge amounts of changing, sometimes confusing, and often conflicting information every day. We are all overwhelmed. It’s more important than ever to communicate messages in a simple, clear way so everyone understands what the data shows, what they’re being asked to do, and can feel confident that what they’re doing will keep themselves and others safe.
The brief report presented on April 16, 2021 by the Government of Ontario is a snapshot of data collected over the past year meant to show the potential paths the pandemic could take in the coming weeks depending on measures taken by the government and the community, as well as other supporting statistics.
The importance of people understanding this data can not be overstated, however the way it was communicated was not treated with the same importance as was placed on the collection and accuracy of the data sets. We are not questioning the actual statistics, we want to focus solely on how the statistics have been visually presented and the common mistakes we noticed in many aspects of the presentation.
We ask: what are some easy things that can be done to make this important data more clear and accessible to all audiences? To be clear, we aren’t attempting to redesign these visualizations (although we’d love the chance to!), but we think there is value in at least pointing out a few places they fail to do the job they’re meant to, and show what might have been better choices.