Project

Web-based data visualization for the canton of Zurich

What’s the best way to present data to ensure greater overall clarity and to promote user comprehension? Or to engage users with a compelling interactive experience? To answer these questions, we started a case study and developed a user-friendly web-based solution of the magazine “Canton Zurich in Numbers”

In the context of an internal innovation project, we set out to demonstrate the potential of digital data visualization. When it came to enlisting project partners, our attention was called to the Canton Zurich’s Statistical Office and the Zurich Cantonal Bank (ZKB). Together, these two institutions publish a magazine by the name of “Canton of Zurich in Numbers” that appears once a year. The “data stories” presented in the magazine combine the figures, presented in the form of tables and visualizations, with related editorials and explanatory texts. The magazine is made available to the various municipalities and to ZKB customers at the bank’s various branch offices.

From a workshop to a clickable prototype

After encouraging employees at the Zurich Statistical Office and ZKB to participate in a workshop, we defined a target group – the interested public – and developed ideas for a digital rendering of the magazine “Canton of Zurich by the Numbers.” While working together, we hit upon the idea of replacing the print magazine with a web platform as a means of publishing “data stories” at regular intervals, a contemporary form of publication that would introduce many advantages for both publishers and users alike:

  • Data presentation that is both contemporary and target-group appropriate
  • Presentation of data stories that offers users an engaging, interactive encounter with important content
  • Comment function to enable interaction among users, and between users and publishers
  • Flexible format to enable the presentation of current developments
  • Regular website updates to feature new stories and generate greater interest
  • Links to social media to expand outreach

We visualized our concept in the form of a clickable prototype. Using a sample story on the subject of municipality mergers, our prototype offers a look at the advantages of a digital implementation. Moreover, we rendered our sample story in the contemporary form of “scrollytelling” and contemplated on additional formats such as “Quick Viz” and “Tracker.”

Animated version of the clickable prototype