Our first interactive: the masked dashboard

Francis Gagnon
September 16, 2021

In the coming months, we will finally be updating our portfolio to better reflect what Voilà: has become over the last couple of years. Today, we are adding what was then our first interactive, developed in late 2020, for FinDev Canada, an international development agency.

This was a breakthrough for our team of four at the time: Olivia Gélinas, Estelle Villemin, Chloé Cousin and myself.

I’m not that good at design, I don’t know how to code and this was a very complex project to coordinate. This was truly only possible as a team. Merci!

I’m especially pleased that the solution — an alluvial — may appear obvious… because it is not. Here was our starting point: a collection of data points that seem unrelated.

We went through a lot, A LOT of ideas before settling on the alluvial. This is our brainstorming in Miro.

Below is the first sketch of the alluvial. The insight was that many of these categories were actually reorganizations of the same data: the projects’ value in dollars. We wanted a design that clarified this continuity and hence communicated the nature of the data.

An alluvial with seven columns, all in different colours, with annotations explaining how it works.

This is what the final version looks like.

FinDev Canada portfolio presented as an alluvial graph with four red columns representing, for each project, the region, investment type, sector and whether it is 2X qualified.

We are especially happy that it works on mobile without losing functionalities.

Mobile version of the alluvial chart of the FinDev portfolio with red bars and yellow rivers.

Another aspect that we like is that it is a dashboard that doesn’t look like a dashboard. Instead of a drop-down menu, the user clicks on any category to filter the data. Here is an example that filters only projects in Latin America. Every other column only displays projects in that region, making it possible to see the portfolio of a given region, investment type, sector, etc. in one click.

Since then, we have done more interactives and this one is revealed a little late (where is the time to update portfolios?), but we’re really happy with it.

See more details on our portfolio page.

Francis Gagnon

Francis Gagnon

Francis Gagnon is the founder of Voilà: (2013), an information design company specializing in sustainable development.

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