See the whole thing (and accompanying blog post) here.
Data-wise, this one was tricky because the range in the dataset was so big. Visualized as a bar graph, some numbers were literally off the chart and others barely visible.
First attempt: A one-to-one solution where each gallon icon = a gallon. Too long, too much scrolling.
Second attempt: Area = size, using swimming pools as metaphor. Kind of confusing because there’s a represented volume (from the data) and a real-life volume (how many gallons a swimming pool can actually hold).
The second attempt gave rise to the third attempt. Instead of pools, the shape was changed to something symbolic—a water drop. With a custom scale formula to adjust for optical sizing, the last step was finalizing the icons.
Research: Julie Sheer
Editorial: Michael Scarr
Art direction: Nicole Coppola
Design: Dana Chen