What’s your personal rate of inflation? by Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Inflation affects us all differently, depending on how we spend our money. Too often we hear the Consumer Price Index (CPI) referred to as though one number can describe rising prices for everyone.

Instead, ABC News Story Lab offered readers a way of understanding the impact of rising prices on their own budgets: their personal rate of inflation.

By answering a few multiple-choice questions, readers were presented with their personalised rate.

While it was important to give the reader the visual context of how they compare to the CPI, a simple slope chart was chosen to assist in explaining the concept of inflation for unfamiliar readers.

The article then dug down into the factors influencing the reader’s figure with the use of a marimekko chart. This chart, while complex, illustrated the two aspects of inflation (rising prices and proportion of someone’s budget) as well as how they combined together.

To manage the complexity of the visualisation, the narrative made use of animation to introduce the chart piece by piece, highlight key boxes and zoom in to various categories – all while focusing on the reader’s own circumstances.

Along with the chart, many paragraphs in the story had multiple versions which were switched in and out depending on the reader’s answers to the questions, and blended seamlessly into the piece.

The final section re-used a few key elements of the marimekko chart to call back to information from earlier in the story, while making a larger editorial point.