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Data visualisation - components for building basic charts and graphs

Just wondering if there is work planned for creating a data visualisation section in the Design System to house components for building basic charts and graphs.

There isn’t really much around in this space, but given the prevalence of using Microsoft themed/styled charts and graphs (which could really do with some improvements) I think there is plenty of use cases and needs for this to be incorporated into the Design System.

Best example I can find is the Data visualizations section of the Polaris Design System by Shopify

Darkhorse analytics also has some good guidelines for general style and formatting of charts relating to the concept of data-to-ink ratio popularized by Edward Tufte.


I’d love to see this as well.
Only problem is that data visualization is such a changeable space (thinking of the prevalence of specialist data viz code) that I wonder if the ship has sailed.
To what extent dynamic viz will replace static remains to be seen, however it would be in single digit years, surely.
Have you seen others incorporate this Michael?

Working hard as usual I see, right up until the holidays :slight_smile:

Material Design and Polaris by Shopify are but two examples where I think a balance between guideline and implementation has been achieved.

I too have thoughts on this personally, but I fear that my bias is towards a very high data-to-ink ratio which would be deemed heretical judging by the baseline that exists in publication. But I can be pragmatic like Stephen Few
as well and concede that dashboards are not good or bad, but some are more useful than others.

If I can get people moving away from Microsoft defaults, Tableau standards and base it on the types of data + narrative that is to be presented then I will be very happy indeed. But I will happily take baby steps first.

There has been some interesting work done on the grammar of graphics for Python and R, is this portable across to design system?


It’s a good question Patrick and an interesting one. I wouldn’t even begin to know the answer.
Michael, by Polaris, do you mean the airtable template for research repositories made by Tomer Sharon and Michele Marut for WeWork?
Tomer released it and there are Polaris repos all over the place these days.
If so, we are interviewing a bunch of people at the moment for the research repos project in the ResearchOps Community. If he happens to be one, and if you are indeed speaking of the same Polaris, do you have a question that might be useful to ask?

Hi Brigette,

I am referring to the design system used by Shopify, also called Polaris (, to build their e-commerce website platform.

It has a section on data visualization which is quite practical and contains many examples that can be baked into design systems. Judging from the implementation of the grammar of graphics in R, I would say that there is definitely
some overlap but I would have to look into it further.


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Dating back nearly 2 years now, a post on the DTA blog discusses some of the insights gleaned from the Smart Cities Dashboard service:

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The sections on colour and contrast are very useful, so just wondering if there is anything being discussed or developed in terms of the types of visualization (i.e. graphs, charts, infographics). Definitely keen to contribute as this is my area of specialization. hasn’t been updated for a while, but may still be of interest.