If you’ve ever struggled with a complex data set or a visualization that just isn’t showing what you want it to, HelpMeViz may be just the website for you. Jon Schwabish started it on December 2, 2013, out of a desire to help people everywhere communicate their data as clearly as possible. It is easy to criticize completed visualizations and point out all the things they got wrong, but this doesn’t help improve those visualizations. HelpMeViz enables visualization professionals to receive feedback on work in progress, projects they’ve already published but may want to revisit, or to see how others might have approached the data differently. The idea behind the website is to tap into the knowledge and expertise of the data visualization community to collect different viewpoints and ideas about how to visualize data. It’s rare that there is one “right” answer, so getting multiple viewpoints is a great way to settle on the view that is right for each individual set of priorities. Schwabish designed the site with a three specific ideas for its nature and purpose:
- The site is available and welcoming to anybody, no matter how simple or complex the dataset or visualization they need help with.
- Anyone can help provide comments and feedback.
- The comments should try to help solve the submitter’s challenge or problem.
So, next time you have any questions about your data visualization, there is a place to turn where you’ll get great (and free) feedback from the dataviz community! Drew Skau is Visualization Architect at Visual.ly and a PhD Computer Science Visualization student at UNCC with an undergraduate degree in Architecture. You can follow him on Twitter @SeeingStructure