NYT Graphics

Kevin Quealy from the NYT graphic department skyped us during lecture this week to talk graphics, informational graphics that is.

Ashton Kutcher tweeted a link to a graphic Quealy made at NYT. This graphic was published the day Bolt won his second gold medal in a row in the 100m. Aston Kutcher would never tweet about traditional scatterplots, but a cool graphic? Totally.

Here’s the swimming version, comparing Nathan Adrian to all the other 100m freestyle Olympic medalists in history! (even cooler)

Check out his other infographics by searching “Kevin Quealy” on www.nyt.com.

It just goes to show you that stats are meaningful, and when presented in an interesting way, people love it! It makes data more accessible to the public.

Quealy explained that the graphic department is responsible for all of the content in the graphics. They research and create the diagrams, maps and charts for the both the newspaper and the website AND they do all their own research & reporting that goes along with the graphics. The next step is making the graphics compatible for all phones, tablets, and browsers of all sizes.

He gave us some “principles, processes, and things to remember”:

  • The future has an ancient heart. Nothing is ever purely innovative. At the NYT, they tweak good ideas that worked before all the time.
  • Distributions are more interesting than averages. This allows an individual to find themselves in the data set.
  • Scale is more than key. Quantitative info makes it more accessible to the public and they can process the information better.
  • Sketch with data, experiment with forms. You might need to make 15 previous graphs/maps to get to the right one that suits the content and editorial purposes.

And he left us with a bit of hope…

It’s never been easier for a 25-year-old with no experience to get a job [at NYT].” – Kevin Quealy

It’s a small department looking to expand. Who would’ve thought!


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