Data Visualization

Visualizing Italian elections through social media activity

2020 - 3 Months
Data Visualization
Visual Identity
Responsive Design


Is it possible to predict the results of a political election by harnessing the power of AI through analyzing posts on social media? Social media provides good opportunities to collect data and understand social and cultural trends. How can these data enrich traditional research methods? I helped visualize an innovative research that examines the relationship between Twitter activity and election results in an Italian region.


Together with the client, we implemented a web-based platform to display and interact with data and insights coming from a pilot research, which explored the potential of social media data to monitor and predict electoral behavior. My project deliverables consisted of a responsive web experience, data-visualizations and a visual brand identity for the project.

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Data Visualizations

The research was presented trough several graphs that explain the results of the quantitative social media analysis. I designed 18 data visualizations, that aim at displaying “dry” data in an engaging and understandable way.

Visual Brand Identity

As there was no visual identity of the project yet, I started from scratch. Based on several brand keywords, I developed a style guide that can be used to align all visual elements of the project. Typography, colour and styles are the visual building blocks used in the data visualizations and website.

Design Process

My role in this design process was of the UX + Data Designer, where I joined after the Social Media Analysis was conducted and finalized already. Below I use the visualization of the Double Diamond to show wherein the process certain tools or methods were used.

1. Exploratory Sketches

This first step in the process was to generate ideas on how to visualize the data and how to best present it in a web experience. I value sketching as ideation method as it allows me to come up with ideas freely and communicate them with stakeholders.

2. Sitemap

Although the size of this web experience is relatively small, making a sitemap helps to structure the content and define a navigational flow. The main focus of this experience is on the research outcomes, so the other pages are merely introductory and extra information.

3. Wireframes

Wireframing helps to define the structure of the experience, without losing focus on the visual details. By roughly building the website in text-blocks and grey ‘place-holder’ blocks, the experience starts to take shape and it becomes clear where and what kind of visuals are needed. The client gave feedback and certain changes were made to enhance the experience.

4. Visualizing Data

After the wireframes set the structure, the content needed to be developed. 18 graphs were visualized following the visual foundation of the style-guide I made previously. Below you can find some examples of rough data visualizations on the left and the redesigned versions on the right.

5. Final UI Design

With the data visualizations finished, it was time to fill in the last content of the website. Illustrations were chosen to soften and humanize the ‘computational vibe’ in the content. By adding color, typography, shadows, illustrations and data visualizations, the wireframes were transformed to the final User Interface.

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