I went through some interactive data sites, sketching them out as I browsed. Sketching helps me with understanding the different components of sites – what are they composed of and perhaps even why they are composed as such.
Below is my, albeit crude, sketch of the site from the perspective of a user initially visiting the site:
From what I found most useful and interesting on this site, is the simplicity with how to use it. Users simply select values on different charts corresponding to the questions and the site updates itself to answer the initial question.
The only elements are the questions, charts and the answer generator. Three elements that work together to provide an easy understanding of a complex topic.
Simplicity governs the site and I think it compliments the complex subject matter. This contrast creates an experience for the user that I believe is exactly what users hope to have when they visit the site.