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Analysis of Interactive Content Tweeted By: Chan41

USA Today’s data visualization on jobs in the U.S. is an excellent example of interactive content.  The graphic is interactive because the user has complete control of the parameters and can manipulate them in order to obtain the information he is looking for.  On the left side, there is a list of job industries that you can choose from to refine your search.  This allows the user to easily compare the state of the job market across many different industries. 

Additionally, there is a timeline on the bottom with different annual quarters clearly labeled.  The design of the timeline is simple and user-friendly, allowing the user to scroll through various time periods to see past data and projected future data.  The focal point of the graphic is the map of the U.S., which is dotted with data points.  The points are color-coded (red and green) to represent whether there were more or fewer jobs than the current quarter, making it is easier for the viewer to comprehend.  The map is also interactive as it allows you to zoom in to different regions and click on data points that will give you specific employment statistics.

This study defines simple user interaction as “user control over the words and pictures that are presented in a multimedia explanation.”  By this definition, USA Today’s data visualization is an excellent example of interactivity because the user has the power to change the parameters and manipulate the map any way he wishes.  As a result, my cognitive load was reduced which made the data easier to absorb and increased my understanding of the employment statistics.

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