A recent article in New York Magazine brought our attention to an new book, Best American Infographics 2013. With its “graphic answers to questions you didn’t think to ask,” the book and article inspired us to look at this year’s infographic trends and see how they look when powered by ZingChart.

Infographics trend 1: red + blue politics

According to the article, infographics using red, blue, and purple to cover U.S. politics are a popular trend in infographic design this year.

Styling bar chart colors with red and blue is pretty straightforward in ZingChart, but applying colors to a map is also easily done.  ZingChart developers can simply add styling attributes to each individual shape, or in this case, each state. To speed up your map development, styling attributes can also be added to an entire group of shapes. And you can get very precise: ZingChart Maps are drawn with real latitude and longitude data, so you can accurately plot points on any of our maps. More details about the mapping abilities of ZingChart are available in the reference section on our website, as well.

Infographics trend 2: bar charts

Bar charts were the most common type of chart in the book. This means people rely heavily on bar charts to communicate their data. ZingChart offers a number of ways to spice up a yawn-inducing bar chart, including:

  • Placing more than one chart in a space

  • Adding interactivity by using the legend to turn bars on and off

  • Upping the interactivity by providing buttons

This chart utilizes many of those interactive features. In lieu of using HTML button elements, two circles with unique shape IDs were created to allow the user to toggle between stacked and grouped charts. The shape_click event is used to listen for the event, which then checks for the ID of the shape that was clicked. If the ID of the clicked shape is “stacked”, then the modify API method is used to modify the JSON code to set “stacked”:true. This also changes the background colors of the two shapes, in order to imitate the behavior of radio buttons. If the ID of the clicked shape is “grouped”, then the same modify API method is used to set “stacked”:false and to update the background colors of the two shapes.

Infographics trend 3: pie charts passé?

Maybe the writers of the book are on Team Cake, but there was only one pie chart in the book (outside of a page about pie charts). In any case, ZingChart is flexible enough to let you use pie charts without boring your users. If pie is the chart type that best suits your data, styling may give it some “zing.” ZingChart’s granular controls expand your options for customizing pie charts so you never have to settle for bland pie.

In this chart, we decided to make a ring/donut chart by removing the center of the pie. This is easily done with the "slice" attribute. We also decided to make the fourth quarter standout out a bit by moving it away from the rest of the pie. Also, try clicking the legend items and see what happens. Remember, a full list of your JSON attributes and styling options with ZingChart is just a click away.

Tell us more!

Have you noticed any infographic or web charting trends you’d like to share with us or see in ZingChart? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!