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Police Panorama


This was a data-led project where the developer and designer tried swapping roles. Wesley was the editorial lead, Sumi did much of the coding and Steven did much of the design work under Sumi's guidance.

This project was a first for the Visual Journalism team in that it presented SVG charts with table semantics for screen reader accessibility. See the separate post Accessible SVGs.

There was an immovable deadline, tied to a TV broadcast, and there was a rush towards the end of the development phase in which there was invaluable help from Evisa, Becky and Scott. I have probably forgotten someone. If that's you, I apologise.

Sumi's notes from the retro

Lookup @

What we would change

  • Make sure requirements are clear

  • Allow more time for data projects

  • Prepare for unpredictability of timings when working with TV

  • Make sure everyone has access to relevant systems are comfortable working with them
    -Be careful about underestimating amount of time required for tasks

  • Try to think about all possible scenarios to prepare for variations in text and design

  • Statistical significance- clarify data pain points and solutions earlier in process

  • Improve visibility of data wizards

  • Don’t wait too long for data to arrive

  • Be wary of animations that draw too much attention

  • Use metrics to inform decisions

  • 9% of views were on smart TV. Include TV in testing phase?

  • Leave enough time for an accessibility swarm

  • Improve visibility of Jira tickets

What we liked

  • Design/development pairing

  • Interdisciplinary knowledge sharing

  • How we cut down the number of elements to visualise

  • Stevens illustrations, colours used, and overall look

  • Data viz clear and readable

  • Consistency of visuals in the article and lookup

  • Article charts created in R and exported as SVGs

  • Useful comments in the natural language text

  • Accessible implementation of SVG charts (a team first) and animation toggle

  • Development team effort to get the lookup ready on time

  • Ability to test branches during development

  • Markdown

  • Nice atmosphere on project

  • Reusability of lookup

Stats from Wes
The page got 487,712 page views in total

83% direct traffic
40% came from the News App
14% from social media
9% via Smart TV

Weds 16th:
Traffic peaked between 6-9am
Smaller peak at lunchtime with equal numbers on mobile & desktop

Bump of around 50,000 after it was included in the BBC e-mail

The look-up should have been promoted after the Six O’Clock news piece and Panorama
but this didn’t happen which undoubtedly had an effect on the figures

Police Panorama
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