This article gives an overview of various decisions the New York Times Graphics department made while designing the interactive graphic “A Peek into Netflix Queues“. The team started with data acquired from Netflix that gives the 50 most popular movies watched nationwide by zipcode. Given the volume of data, they decided to focus on a few major cities rather than try to cover the entire country.
Designing the interface was the most difficult part, especially the navigation. The author of the article, Kevin Quealy, made at least 10 different mockups trying to solve this problem. Two other designers drew a sketch based on Quealy’s work.
Then Quealy created a more refined drawing of it in Illustrator.
Once they were satisfied with their design, they created gathered and compiled shapefiles for all the Zip Codes, gathered movie cover art and other assets, and started writing the code to glue it all together.