Information Design Project 4!
Part I: Postcard Data Visualization
Over the weekend, we made postcards inspired by Dear Data to document our weekend and share with a classmate. My theme was “Weekend of Gratitude”, and so I documented how much I said “thank you” to people, and how many I received. Within this, I also divided it into groups of people, and if it were verbal or by text.
Then I refined it using color instead of a table:
This shows that I said “thank you” the most on Sunday, and generally the most to my boyfriend (since I spend the most time with him). The “stranger” was usually when I purchased things, such as at the grocery store or online. In addition, I noticed that I say thank you more times than I receive thank you’s. Part of that may be due to allergy season, I sneeze a lot!
Part II: Data Physicalization
In class, we did a data physicalization exercise using found objects in our homes:
I decided to show how much caffeine I consumed on a week in February, in correlation to how much I had slept, and the weather that day. I used cotton pads stacked to show how many hours of sleep, and stained it with the tea I was drinking at the time to show if I drank any form of caffeine that day. Then I used the post-it colors to indicate the weather.
I generally did drink more coffee/tea on days I got less sleep. On Monday, I got less sleep, but it was also sunny though, and on Thursday I slept a lot but still drank coffee, but it was raining! Maybe there is some correlation between weather and my need to drink coffee?
The general question I started asking is: How is my architecture school education affecting my general health? or How does my class schedule affect my sleep and eating habits?
For reference, in architecture, we have studio from (sometimes 12:30) 1:30–4:30 pm every Monday, Wednesday, Friday. So we also have to prepare for those classes with work, therefore not sleeping as much on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. I have generally gotten more used to this, but I remember in my second year, I averaged about 5 hours of sleep a night. In addition, sometimes my classes were packed pretty tight, so I would eat my first meal at 2pm! Therefore, I wanted to study the data I collected on my daily schedule to make myself more aware, and if I need to make lifestyle changes.
The data I will be exploring is:
Food consumption (time, takeout or home cooked)
Amount of Sleep or Time Awake
and plotted against my class schedule
Then I found further inspiration for these:
First, I wanted to see how the data looked and to start to analyze it. I used Rhino, which I usually use for making architectural models, because of its accuracy and ability to make things at even intervals because mine is very time-based. I used it to construct a base for the graph.
After I made essentially the structure of my visualizations, I exported it to Adobe Illustrator to refine it with line weights.
I started to see how much the time I woke up varied, as well as the time of my meals. In addition, you can see that I do not eat breakfast often.. I had a theory that those were usually Mondays and Wednesdays because I have earlier classes. So next I made a weekly visualization.
Then I realized I could compare the days of the week better if I layered each week on top of each other and lowered the opacity to see overlaps.
Now, I have to figure out how to compose it as a dashboard, or phone application. I am leaning towards phone app, but also wishing I knew how to make it interactive. Ideally, I would like to be able to hover over or click the circle to see exactly what you ate and the time.
I am also considering zooming in even more to a daily view of the information. It would probably be linear, and not a circle, but list what I ate to add on to the information. Not sure if it is necessary!
When analyzing my data, I realized that it was hard to tell the quantity in number of hours I had slept when just looking at lines. I wanted to find a way to add that data to the visualization.
It looked like the duration of sleep was almost an exact inverse of what time I woke up. It looked like I had just copied and scaled up the edge of the inner set of data. Maybe I should not be too shocked, since it just means that the later I woke up, the more hours of sleep I had. But it was interesting considering I did not sleep at the same time every night.
Then I tried to compose all of the graphs on one page.
After a having a desk crit, I realized that maybe I should not show every graph in one dashboard, but to have several screens, one for the monthly overview, a more detailed month, and then the weekly view.
Below are stills from the proposed dashboard:
This visualization was designed for the intent of myself, or any other students, to be more aware of our every day habits involving our health. It had confirmed my suspicion that I would rather sleep in more than to eat. I would only wake up in time for class, but sleep only when done with work. However, I found that I did end up averaging 8 hours of sleep a night, even though it is assumed that architecture students do not sleep much, but that also be because I did not have big projects due that month.
From the the overview, one could see that the quantity of sleep undulates often due to my schedule of MWF vs TH days of classes. Since I have later classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I woke up later and therefore slept more that night.
The only days I would eat breakfast were days I had early classes, which were on Mondays and Wednesdays. Since the morning rush hour made buses packed, I would ride the bus earlier, and grab food if I was early for class. My meal times varied a lot, whether for lunch or dinner. There were some weeks I would eat dinner around 6:30pm but other weeks I would eat around 8pm. In general, I would have lunch either right before or right after a class.
Through creating this visualization, I was able to grasp my general health data, and make conclusions on future action. We are often too busy to stop and reflect on our lives, and this has allowed me to do so.
It would’ve been interesting if I compared a month in February to a month in April to see how the quarantine has affected me, even with the same class schedule.