Step 1: Analyze the Competition
I first gathered a few examples of data visualizations and dashboards. I thought about what worked well with them and what was not working as well.
I felt that this visualization had an effective use of color to make it clear which times of the year were warmer or cooler. There is a lot of information that is communicated through the data visualization, such as daily low, high, and mean temperatures and the amount of precipitation.
I thought, however, that the small type made it hard to read in certain areas. In addition, the visualization was unclear without reading the description about how to analyze the visualization. There was a lot of interesting information but the excessive amount of information also made it a bit confusing.
This visualization uses color to help differentiate different lines and add legibility. There is a lot of information communicated through the data visualization such as the energy sources, where the energy is used, amount of lost energy, and energy conversion rates.
However, the type is very small and it could be unclear for people that don’t know much about the topic. In addition, the excess information could get confusing.
Step 2: Decode the Data
After analyzing the data that I collected for the month of March, I proposed the hypothesis that on warmer and sunnier days there is an overall increase in daily activity. This was measured in terms of steps taken per day and flights climbed per day.
Step 3: Sketch Concepts
We started off by making some physical sketches during class time on April 13th. These were a few first passes at representing a week or month with pipe cleaners, beads, and more.
I later made these to represent a day, week, and month.
This was the postcard that I made inspired by the Dear Data project. I depicted the number of steps and flights climbed for each day and compared it to the temperature and weather.
For April 22nd, I tried a few more sketches of different ways to show steps taken compared to temperature and weather. The first image mapped a week and showed the steps taken each day and the temperature during that day. The second image used a three-dimensional structure to show steps taken and flights climbed on different axis to show activity over a week. The last one showed the distance I covered each day as mapped to the Pittsburgh Marathon course.
For April 27th, I tried iterating on a few of my sketches from the week before. These images were a second pass at the three dimensional sketch and the circular diagram. The three-dimensional sketch made the previous sketch clearer and added color. The wheel visualization mapped the temperature throughout the day to match the progress of the steps being taken over the day. This helped to show that I also took the most steps during the warmer part of the day.
I also tried a first pass at creating a digital version. These images depict three three dimensional structures in a way that compares each week of March to each other.
I also tried focusing on an individual week for two different images. For one of them, I put the Empire State Building and a 400 meter track to show the distance and height I moved over a week.
Based on feedback that I got, for May 4th I tried iterating the circular version so that it was on the same axis. This allowed for easier comparison of each day and was also a more natural way of showing a week.
I got feedback that the three dimensional visualization was more interesting and my previous one was not working as well so I made this iteration for the presentation on Thursday.