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Shirley stresses the importance of readability in data visualizations. Shirley references several D3 Libraries created by Susie Lu that aid in readability by providing context in the way of axes and annotations.

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Transcript from the "Readability" Lesson

[00:00:00]
>> Shirley Wu: So for readability, you might have noticed that, we have a bunch of pre-curves and maybe this is really great for data art but we're trying to do data virtualization. And so the number one thing that's really important right now is readability, because right now we can't really tell.

[00:00:22] We know what this represents but if we put it in front of some readers, they won't know what's happening. So the number one important thing after getting kind of just the data on there is to make sure that the data is readable. And to do that, we want to be adding titles and descriptions and legends to explain the visualization.

[00:00:44] And we want to add axes and annotations to describe the data themselves. And so these are axes. I think these are really great if there's very explicit xy coordinates, xy axes. So these are really great for labelling those. But sometimes especially if you have color and there's no axes to label, there's this really great library by Susie Lu called d3-legend.

[00:01:18] That just takes in, it's quite straightforward, it takes in a D3 scale, whether that's scale time or scale legend or any of that. Sorry, scale ordinal or any of that and it helps just generate a legend for you and so this makes it really, really simple. So for example, for us, we might want to be able to label the x axes and the y axes with the d3 axis but then to show the colors we might want to use Susie's d3-legend to say which colors belong to what genre.

[00:02:00] And of course, annotations are really important to call out different parts of the data. And say help guide the reader through how to read your visualization. And maybe point out the interesting parts that they should be paying attention to. And again, Aunt Susie is really, really great at this and she's built this library called d3-annotation, that with some setup, it makes writing these annotations really, really easy.

[00:02:28] And she'll have ones where you can do a circle or a rectangle or even this kind of annotation badge. And these are things that are a little bit cumbersome to do in SPG yourself and she makes that really, really easy. And in fact, all three of these kinds of modules are things that are a little bit cumbersome to do in SPG if you have to create the shapes yourself and these kind of three modules help make something that's really important, really easy for us to do.

[00:03:00] So I'm a fan, big fan of all three of them.