County Sin Rankings helps you quickly and easily understand the health of your community. There are many factors that determine the health of a county. County Sin Rankings takes a humorous look at seven health factors as related to the seven deadly sins. Look up your county, compare it to other counties in your state, and see how who's the most sinful.
County Sin Rankings was created by Forum One Communications as an entry for the Sunlight Labs' Design for America competition.
This website was created in good fun. We don't really think your county is greedy or slothful. Our goal was show that data can be amusing and engaging while promoting good public health policy. We relied on public data from CountyHealthRankings.org, but we created our website independently from that initiative and received no funding nor counsel from that project's sponsors.
We've built dozens of health policy sites over the years, but the contest inspired us
to try something fun. Our aim was was to take the more interesting health factors from the
rankings and make them interesting to a general audience. The official rankings are designed
for policymakers, journalists and others who need precise data. Our aim was to make key
statistics accessible to look at and understand for the typical citizen. After tossing out a
few other themes such as "Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll," we settled on the
"Seven Deadly Sins."
From our first design meeting we knew that we wanted to allow some sort of direct comparison of counties. We also knew from our previous work creating CountyHealthRankings.org that the the data are not normalized to allow comparisons of counties from different states. Therefore, our we focused on making county-to-county comparisons easy to understand.
Showing the relationships between the counties' health factors was one of our biggest challenges. Visualizing data faithfully is a hard task! We wanted to stay true to the number's underlying meanings without bogging down the interface with excessive text or figures.
We added a color scale so that users can quickly assess how their county was performing, without looking at the numbers or reading a lot of details about the underlying data. This required us to create a 10-point scale for each health factor to enable us to see how much variance there was for a given county compared to the best and worst counties in the state.
The equation we used to assign the colors was: ((health factor for county - minimum value for state) / ((maximum for state - minimum for state)) x 10.
Our tools were Zend Framework, MySQL, jQuery, and PHP. The site was created in just over two weeks -- from brainstorm to launch.
Courtney Clark, information architect
Andrew Cohen, advisor
Dan Crowder, developer
Tim Deegan, visual designer
William Hurley, developer
Corey Lafferty, interface engineer