Information is Beautiful by David McCandless
This summer, I bought Information is Beautiful, a book by David McCandless. I love the way he makes it fun to find out more information. Even if the information is somewhat trivial sometimes, you feel more informed as you read his visuals.
So, I went to the website for the book and found a really cool interactive visualization about the Internet of Things. I really like how there are different pages that you can navigate between and then that you can hover and click on things to change them and find out more. It also feels like the perfect amount of data and details for interactive project, not too much or little information. If I could change anything though, I don’t like how the way of navigating between pages is through what resembles a nav bar at the top of the project canvas. I feel like since this project is meant to be viewed within a browser window, it shouldn’t have features that resemble a typical browser. I wonder if there are different ways to navigate within pages in an interactive visualization. I see potential in maybe clicking on a timeline or shapes. Perhaps switching the way that information is organized could help with this.
(2010) Annual Report(s) by Nicholas Feltron
[Edit 11/21: More interested in this one of his annual reports now: http://feltron.com/FAR05.html]
I had heard of Nicholas Feltron before from design friends, and decided to investigate him further when I saw him as a suggested source of data visualization inspiration on the Deliverables page. What I like about him is how he creates annual reports, in which he attempts to quantify himself through data, when people typically describe themselves qualitatively.
I chose to look at the 2010 Annual Report because I liked the colors and the way that he is describing himself by looking at his lineage (in this case, his father’s life). It made me think about how who I am is determined by many things that I didn’t have control over – not just the basic “where I live” and “where and what I studied” kind of stuff. I thought the way he showed locations with lines and points created beautiful shapes. However, I feel like it’s confusing to get a feel for the location since it’s not placed within the environment of a map, or similar device. I love how in this project (and his others), the data is beautiful by itself but also that the pages all look cohesive and beautiful as a system.
At times, when I look at his work, I feel overwhelmed because he is presenting SO much information and in an aesthetic that all feels so similar. Therefore, nothing feels like important or distinct information. I feel like this is a missed opportunity since not all information is equal in value.
Comparing These Two Sources
I like the simplicity and clarity of Information is Beautiful and how fun it is to explore. In Feltron’s work, it’s less fun to explore. It feels more like something to look at and not read since it’s not interactive and since the information is so compacted. This teaches me that the information is my visualization should be more spread out with and able to be played with so that it is an effective tool for people to learn something from.
I like how Feltron’s work is work that relates to his life directly and feels more human and relatable than the Internet of Things information presented by Information is Beautiful. Because of this, I want to quantify myself with data for my project.
I like how both include the concept of pages and layers, and being able to zoom in and out on information.