Header illustration, showing line-drawn clouds, teapot and train, for The Great British Quizualization.

The Great British Quizualization

BBC Future

At a glance

BBC Britain aims to help users ‘discover the real Britain’. They commissioned us to devise and build a super-entertaining online quiz that would help put Britain’s quintessential traits in context with other countries.

Illustration of line drawings, including clouds, sun, diamonds...

Chewing over clichés

We started with obvious clichés. All the small stuff that British people are renowned for chuntering on about every day. Grumbling about public transport and the weather for instance…or tea. We love talking about tea.

And the more positive stereotypes too. Do non-Brits really believe we have a castle on every corner? That we all live in quaint cottages? Or that we eat cream teas every day?

Preview image of 'Time of Day' Tea-totalism question
Preview image of 'Time of Day' Tea-totalism answer viz

Element of surprise

We wanted users to feel surprised by the results. So, we also considered how Brits might fare on other areas, such as wine drinking, Nobel Peace Prizes won and millionaires on these shores.

Once we’d seen how the data stacked up, we chose 14 sets that would reveal the most surprising stories.

Image showing a bar chart for the answer to 'Nobels' won.

Saturday night inspiration

For the quiz mechanic, we took inspiration from classic Saturday night quiz shows, like ‘Deal or no deal’ and ‘Play your cards right’.

This gave the quiz questions their binary structure, such as: Which country receives more rain each year – New Zealand or the UK? (It’s New Zealand. But Singapore is even rainier.)

Some light animation such as winking eyes, and a cloud of steam from a teapot, kept the quiz feeling fresh.

Image showing a screen grab of the answers for 'rain'.
Image showing a bubble chart answer for 'dollar millionaires' question
Image showing bar chart for answer to 'average hours of sunshine' Image showing bar chart for answer to 'average life satisfaction score'

Bringing in the viz

The data viz came through in the answers, using a wide variety of devices, from bubble charts to bars. The concise writing drew the whole thing together as a lighthearted, but factually informative piece.

And who wouldn’t want to know if they’re a Baffled, Borderline or Blueblood Brit? The quiz totted up the user’s score and round-up on completion, ready for sharing with friends on social media. Give it a go.

Preview image of a version of 'Time of Day' illustration for the user's final Brit category