March 13, 2019

[Feedback] How can I make better data visualizations?

I mentioned in my last post that this month I'd attempt to create interesting content by visualizing data related to my website.

I published my first dataviz blog post today:

I'm new to data visualization and would love to hear advice from Indie Hackers about how to make it more engaging.

Do you have other ideas about what visualizations would be interesting? I have structured data for ~4,400 keto recipes. The data I have for each recipe is:

  • recipe title
  • list of ingredients
  • publication date
  • meal category (breakfast, dessert, etc.)
  • recipe URL
  1. 2

    A cool chart could be what ingredients come together more often, using a graph chart (you can try http://js.cytoscape.org/).

    Other data that would be fun to see could be what are the cuisines that are most Keto friendly (Mexican, Spanish, Indian, ...). Another tool you can do is get input on what ingredients people like and recommend recipes.

    1. 1

      I hadn't seen Cytoscape. That's really neat, thanks!

  2. 1

    Can you run some kind of script on the ingredients to capture nutritional information? It would be interesting to see how a given meal contributes nutrients (are you getting enough/too much?).

    Also, this may just be me, but I find the graph above hard to read, compared to a simple bar chart, since you're really comparing one dimension. Also, I'm not sure what the different colors mean.

    1. 1

      Thanks for reading!

      Can you run some kind of script on the ingredients to capture nutritional information? It would be interesting to see how a given meal contributes nutrients (are you getting enough/too much?).

      This is possible but it's a pretty hard problem. There are entire businesses built around figuring out the nutritional content given an arbitrary ingredient string, and they're only so-so at matching correctly.

      Also, this may just be me, but I find the graph above hard to read, compared to a simple bar chart, since you're really comparing one dimension. Also, I'm not sure what the different colors mean.

      Yeah, I maybe should have done something more traditional. My worry was that something like a bar chart would feel too sterile or business-like to a casual reader. The colors don't have meaning other than to look pretty. I experimented with using colors to represent different categories of foods like meats, vegetables, dairy, etc. but it seemed like it wasn't really adding much, so I just left them as random colors.