New Squarespace Feature: Data Presentation with Chart Blocks
Nerd that I am, I am unbelievably excited about this new feature Squarespace announced today: Chart Blocks. This nifty new block (Squarespace's powerful layout engine utilizes a number of "blocks" that use use to build your page layouts) allows you to embed responsive (reflows according to screen size) charts and graphs to display complex data.
I can see this being useful to so many folks, especially bloggers. Fitness bloggers could chart exercise results, book bloggers could compare numbers of books read, food bloggers could chart their most popular ingredients, sports bloggers can go deep into comparing stats, and of course, political bloggers could have a whole lot of fun with this block as election season heats up.
But, that's not to say it's a tool just for bloggers. Shops and informational sites could display trends in an interesting way, too. What to show people what your most popular items were last year? Or maybe create a nifty pie chart of all the countries where your customers live? You can easily do that with this new block.
I also think non-profit organizations could use this new block to help with reporting and transparency. You could easily detail your organization's community impact, display how donor dollars are used and show your organization's growth with the new Squarespace Chart Block.
I made a quick demonstration using my books read tallies from Goodreads, a social network for readers and it took me less than five minutes to make this snazzy bar chart, complete with a legend and caption. You can also hover and see the data point details. And make sure to resize your screen to seen the responsive action. Cool, right?
Books Read Per Year, 2011-2015
Right now, colors are dependent on an assortment of preset schemes, but it was pretty easy to find one that blended well with my branding, so I don't see that as a big trade-off for the responsive nature of this style of chart versus the static nature of a graphic. Obviously, this new block won't replace high quality infographics, but it's an efficient way to get data out in the world in an accessible, appealing way.