Perhaps the crown jewel of the labs so far, I set out to right some wrongs that were inflicted on me during travel research for a trip out to the San Francisco area. I had such a hard time finding the information I needed among walls of text and advertising that I decided to try my hand what I think flight search results should look like.
My wife’s been watching a lot of NASCAR lately, and I’m actually finding it quite interesting, in spite of my prior reservations. More importantly to the geek in me, though, NASCAR is a treasure trove of data just waiting to be viewed, and from the look of their leaderboard, this can be a painful task. So, I set out with my newly-acquired knowledge of the sport (hey, it’s no less a sport than horse racing) to identify the key interesting aspects of a race and figure out how they could be viewed more easily.
The first thing I thought about when reading Wilson Miner’s article on accessible data visualization was that it shouldn’t be too difficult to do charts with bars going different directions. Doing so would allow a convenient way to represent values that could be either positive or negative, typically as compared to some other data point that remains constant throughout the entire data set. Thus, my first choice for applying this technique would be golf scores, since each hole is scored relative to par. Even though the value of par varies with the difficulty for each hole, the score relative to par is the important bit that’s recorded and used to compare the abilities of different players. So I set out to improve the efficiency and attractiveness of their leaderbord.
A few weeks ago, there began some discussion on Twitter about a few people who wanted to update their personal sites, and they gained a bit of attention from others who were interested in doing so. Thus they formed the site sprint, wherein all participants agreed to launch their redesigns on September 1. I rather like my current design, and I don’t have the energy to redesign it, but I had mulling about the idea of a “Labs” site for a while, so I thought I’d use the deadline as challenge to actually get it going. In all, 15 others also participated, and I eagerly await their results.