Like, What Should I Major In?

Okay, I’m making fun of teenage-speak even though I’m 100 percent sure I drop “likes” in every spoken sentence. Good thing I’m a writer.

The Guardian recently analyzed the college majors that seniors are picking, which i’m interested in seeing given that they are entering school during a recession. That actually may explain why the number of UK college applications declined by 8.7 percent, according the data that the Guardian found.

The graphs are simple and not as visually appealing as last week’s Texas Tribune graphs. I dislike the graph, “Percent change in total applications by subject group” for many reasons. First, why did they use the symbol, %, instead of the word? That’s a journalism no-no.

Second, the legend is cut off. You have to hover of the boxes to see what the major is. I think making that option for the user to do is a poor design choice because the user will probably not hover over every major. The Guardian seems to have enough space on the website to increase the width of the graph and add the names of the majors.

Third, the color choices are terrible. I understand that there are a lot of majors but some of the colors are similar to each other. It’s also visually distracting to use that many bright colors. But I’m not sure what I would have chosen if I created the graph.

Overall, the graphs don’t visually compliment each other. I don’t know if several people created the graphs or just two people because they have different styles. Why would the Guardian do that? I would have tried to create a uniform style for all the graphs. I would have also taken out the jargon and clunky titles in the graphs.

It almost feels as if the Guardian posted the graphs using the same bureaucratic terms that governments use. This is the kind of layout that I would, as a user, browse over and move on to another page because it’s boring. Nothing draws me in. The information is probably interesting but the  Guardian hasn’t visualized in a way that is journalistic.


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