Much like an electoral campaign, RUN/51 required a steady stream of support, resources, and awareness to succeed. To that end, Vote Run Lead engaged Graphicacy to create a compelling, data-driven story that draws attention to gender discrepancies while generating excitement around RUN/51 as the solution.
“I was impressed by how quickly the Graphicacy team grasped what we were trying to do,” said Vote Run Lead Chief Operations Officer Amanda O’Donnell. “Storytelling is at the heart of the training we do with potential candidates. Graphicacy’s approach felt like a natural extension of that. They zeroed in on the most impactful pieces of data.”
Graphicacy started the project with a blank slate and a short deadline. During an in-depth discovery process, the team speedily parsed a trove of data from multiple sources to identify trends and possible narratives that would inspire audiences to act. From a long list of ideas, Graphicacy and Vote Run Lead agreed upon an interactive scrollytelling approach for the RUN/51 landing page that depicts both the current and future state of gender inequity in state legislatures.
Informed by historic data for statehouse gender composition from Rutgers University’s Center for American Women in Politics, Graphicacy developed a narrative sequence spelling out the gravity of the problem and the goals of RUN/51. In the background, graphics for the three pilot states support the text.
Once users reach the bottom of the page, they unlock a comparative line graph they can hover over to reveal the percentages of female legislators for all 50 statehouses. Just as important, they see projections for how long it will take each statehouse to reach a 51% majority of women at the current pace of progress.
When it came to engineering, the Graphicacy team chose react-scrollama, an open-source scrollytelling library, to trigger the changes from step to step. We used react-spring for animating between the current and future time frames and with the help of D3, made sure that the user interaction in the last step was highly performant.