An Intern's Perspective on the Creation of's Latest Impact Report

Angelica Hom
Jun 20, 2023
min read

I had an awesome opportunity to intern at Data Culture and to experience what it was like to work at their data visualization studio. We worked with to deliver a custom Impact Report for 2022. Data Culture prioritizes collaboration and I saw it for myself. Through regular check-ins and open honest communication with, we designed a bespoke microsite with interactive data-driven visualizations and fun graphical elements. It was such an insightful experience working on the 2022 Impact Report from start to finish, and I had a lot of takeaways from this project!

The Process

Discovery and Ideation

Given the quick turnaround between kickoff and launch, we dove straight away into the discovery and ideation phase during the first week of the project. The goal was to revisit’s 2020 Impact Report and identify how the 2022 Impact Report would differ in terms of data, design, and narrative. We did this in three activities primarily using Miro: (1) sandboxing, (2) a narrative workshop, and (3) a data deep dive. Sandboxing helps bring scope to the project, encouraging to prioritize core values of their story and core features of the microsite experience. The narrative workshop is where we discuss the flow of the microsite’s content and if it makes sense for user experience (UX). The workshop leads into the data deep dive exercise where we try to answer, “What data is available to support the content and how do we obtain the data?”

With my previous experience at large corporations, this was my first time workshopping with a smaller team like Data Culture. A huge advantage was being nimble. It became clear that it was critical for the report to highlight the impact of’s programs and how they continue protecting democracy. We quickly organized these ideas into a blueprint and shared it with before moving into the next phase.

Ideation space and notes leveraged during the discovery phase

Sketch and Design

This phase started with a series of internal brainstorming sessions to explore all kinds of data visualizations and aesthetics in Figma. We went wild pulling all kinds of inspirations from places such as old textbooks, different maps from FiveThirtyEight, and the latest trends on Webflow. Then we started reviewing our design brainstorm ideas and narrowed down which types of data visualizations would work for which sections of the content. With close collaboration and feedback loops with, lo-fi mockups quickly turned into hi-fi wireframes.

As an intern, there wasn’t a moment where I didn’t feel like an active part of the studio team during ideation. In fact, one of my ideas for the early warning system inspired by Data Viz Project became one of the final data visualizations for the microsite!

Data Culture’s willingness to experiment and try new things was definitely one of the highlights of the internship.

Design Inspiration
Draft iterations from inspiration to lo-fi mockup
Hi-fi Figma mockup including all scroll states


One of my goals with the internship was to be able to build an interactive data visualization using d3.js outside of school projects. Since I was in my thesis semester of my grad program, I had limited time to code but luckily Data Culture was flexible and understanding with my schedule. My focus was to work on my early warning system visualization idea. With d3, I learned how to customize a standard bar chart to fit our designs, create effective scrolling transitions with opacity and scales, add annotations, and adjust the viewBox for a better user experience.

Data Culture’s specialty in integrating d3 visualizations into Webflow is really rare in the industry, so I was lucky to have learned how a beautiful data-driven website experience is made. The Sr. Data Visualization Engineer, Amina, was supportive with numerous walkthroughs of the code and answering all the questions I had while also giving me time to problem-solve on my own. I was incredibly happy to finally understand not only how to create a chart but to use scrolling transitions to show different states of the graph!

The visualization and code in the local development environment
The final visualization published in Webflow

What I Learned

My experience at Data Culture almost didn’t feel like a typical internship! Everyone that I got to meet on the team were so warm, engaging, and smart. I got to be involved in such a cool project from the start and it was so rewarding seeing one of my ideas come to life. The culture was so supportive, collaborative, fun, and fast-paced. I got to learn how a data visualization studio worked and had hands-on experience with design and coding as part of the Data Culture team. It’s hard to believe it was only eight weeks long but I’m so glad to have been a part of it!

View’s 2022 Impact Report at, and check out more of Angelica’s work at!

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