How Love Works


At a glance

We transformed survey data into stories that spark press coverage, with this sweet interactive revealing the secrets of romance in the workplace.

Animated gif scrolling through 'how love works' data visualization

Creating an attraction

Totaljobs are job-hunting experts, attracting millions of jobseekers every month. They’d decided to survey more than 5,000 UK workers about a hot topic: love in the workplace.

And they asked us to turn this survey data into an compelling piece of B2C content: a witty, surprising digital interactive that would spark coverage in the media, get people talking and drive traffic to their site.

A datavisualization for 'how love works'

Raw relationships

So which workers are most up for dating a colleague? How easy is it to work with the one you love? And what happens if the relationship ends?

Lots of questions, lots of answers and nothing yet aggregated meant we could look for patterns and relationships from scratch. This was just the sort of raw data we like.

Of course, there was inevitably some sense-checking needed. (We’re looking at you, 100-year-old survey respondent with 19,872 kids.)

A social media asset for 'how love works'
Data visualization about workplace romance

Love stories

As we analysed the survey results looking for story ideas, some interesting trends emerged.

For example, the industry where people are most up for dating a colleague is leisure and recreation. And pretty much no one tells HR about a blossoming workplace romance.

We built the narrative out the best mini-stories that captured the ups and the downs of workplace romances.

Part of the interactive data visualization

Let's get vizzical

Two early design ideas gave shape to how we brought the data to life visually.

Inspired by FiveThirtyEight’s Gun Deaths in America, we chose a waffle chart to show every survey respondent on screen.

Waffle charts are great when you need to accurately compare parts of a whole. They made it easy for people to see the stories instantly and they helped us present the data transparently.

Three mobile screen showing parts of the interactive data visualization

Hand in hand

Thanks to some colour-coded labelling, the on-screen text worked as both storyteller and key.

This made the user experience simple and smooth, helping the reader to glide through the story while understanding everything easily.

Sweet idea

We wanted a sweet visual motif to hold our workplace love story together. The iconic ‘Love hearts’ confectionary provided exactly that. Along with the copy, this helped set the tone: playful, chatty and a touch quirky.

And, this being about love in the workplace, we tweaked the sweets’ messages accordingly: “Firefoxy lady”, “Outlook me up”, “Lose CTRL” to name a few.

Love hearts with various messages
Love hearts with various messages

Memorable moments

From the click-through arrows shaped as hearts (which ‘beat’ when tapped) to the survey’s most amusing reasons about failed romances (“He got a new one”), there were plenty of opportunities to fill this data-driven story with moments of delight.