Created during June - August 2019

Preferential Polling

Swayable was looking for a way to visualize the results of their “preference polls” on people’s ranked-choice votes for the (democratic) candidates for the 2020 US elections. They perform a simulated instant-runoff election, eliminating candidates with the least support and distributing the vote of each supporter to their next-preference candidate. I created two data visualization prototypes for them, capable of working with new data (new polls) and have a visually distinct look. Swayable has implemented these in internal environments and client meetings, but have also revealed the visuals in a blog post.

A close-up look at the Voronoi Map for Joe Biden
The Streamgraph that reveals the polling results over time

The tricky part of this project was to convey the essence of the results of an instant-runoff election. To see which voters flow to the most popular overall candidates when that person’s preferred choice has been eliminated. I create 5-6 different designs, each having their own strengths and weaknesses (both in an interpretation, data and technical aspect). After discussing these with Swayable, I continued with two of the designs.

The first focuses on revealing a clear point in time, the result of one poll. For this I used a Voronoi Map, through the d3-voronoi-map plugin, which lends itself very well to the data (showing parts of the whole), and also has a visually pleasing and unique look (with thanks to kind help from its creator on some finer technical points).

For the second prototype I used a Streamgraph to reveal the change in preferences across time, which is, like the Voronoi Map, also rooted in more “natural” shapes.

The Voronoi Map has a hover interaction that reveals more info about the hovered candidate in all remaining circles
The Voronoi Map visuals that reveal the ranked choice votes for the remaining two (democratic) candidates
The Streamgraph also has a hover that reveals much more information about the hovered candidate

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