Week 7: Dissecting Color Usage in Data Visualization

1)   I used an infographic called, “Stuff Harvard People Like,” which compiles data from Quora to show what students who attend Harvard typically like based on their past Internet searches. It is a spin on the “Stuff White People Like” franchise, which lists the myriad of things—usually humorous—that appeals to the specific demographic.

2)   At first glance, I thought the artist just used complementary colors since green and red are the most prevalent and distinct on the page. However, the infographic is actually employs three colors that are on opposite sides making it triadic.

3)   The target audience would be current and prospective students and alumni of Harvard as well as students from other colleges. The infographic mentions that they also gather data from schools like CalTech, MIT, etc.

4)   In terms of graphic and illustration, . The The artist uses a narrow and bold sans serif text

5)   The layout is well-balanced primarily because there are two distinct components: the percentage bar and the graphics with the paragraphs. The viewer does not feel overwhelmed with the amount of information at any given time because a hierarchy is clearly established.

6)   The color scheme strategically influences the thematic elements of the graphic. The shade of red ties in to Harvard’s school colors and makes it more collegiate. The same goes for the navy blue which is a color used for a lot of schools. The muted green color (I describe it to be an avocado green) brings light-heartedness to the page which goes in line with the humor of the infographic.


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