Mass Shootings in the United States by Graphicacy

Each year, Everytown Research & Policy updates their Mass Shootings database, a straightforward accounting of incidents that “haunt our collective conscience,” in Everytown’s words. To provide context around each yearly update, Everytown also publishes a traditional report, which usually includes maps and charts.

This year, the research arm of Everytown for Gun Safety expanded their definition of mass shootings, which dramatically increased the numbers. As the methodology for collecting the data was a major change from past years, it seemed like the right opportunity to fundamentally rethink and reimagine how mass shootings data can be communicated visually.

To convey this powerful story, the goal was to create impactful visualizations within a seamless, scroll-triggered narrative. This involved seeking innovative approaches to using the data to tell the story more tightly through the integration of key data points with the narrative.

The design solution was a dynamic scrollytelling approach, using cards of text that appear at crucial points in the data story to provide context around the new mass shooting definitions and numbers, while the charts animate and transition in the background. For increased engagement, each card includes social sharing options when a user selects the text. The graphs themselves include a striking visual element: vivid red bubble shapes that expand with the number of incidents. The story moves from mass shootings with fewer than four people killed to those with more than four people killed, then to the 10 deadliest mass shootings.