There’s something about real-time infographics

One of my all-time favourites is the well-known Sprint real-time dashboard from 2008, Plug Into Now.

The Economist had an interesting one on how big companies fared with hittting $1 million in revenues earlier this year, which has been one of their most popular charts of 2014.

And this new one from community-driven reviews site Trusted Company shows what India spends its money on in retail, in real-time.

.@worrydream on media for thinking the unthinkable

Really powerful talk by Bret Victor at MIT from back in April, which I just got down to watching in its entirety. You have to applaud people like him who have such a strong desire to change the way society thinks. He says that the popular concepts of the time, whether power electronics back in the day or software engineering more recently, are short-lived compared to the *thinking* that underpin these concepts. He hopes to change the way people think by introducing them to new ways of thinking, and he does this by using media as a thinking tool that can help us make better sense of systems and therefore better equipped to come up with new ideas to shake these systems, or in fact completely new systems themselves. Read the preface to his talk here (and don’t blame me if you get caught up in discovering the rest of his work which is as fascinating).

Update: You can also browse the talk’s specific sections through this great site Bret created here.


This is a really interesting project by Pete Warden, who, inspired by two projects I often turn to myself – Wordle and OpenHeatMap – has created a project of his own that creates word clouds and fits them into irregular shapes, such as country borders, or brand logos. I like that it creates a relationship between words and images. It’s not something I often think about, but it’s an interesting creative exercise. What would ‘turquoise’ look like shaped? or ‘phantasmagoria’?

I did a bit of an experiment keying in the text from the ‘About’ pages of 3 design-related companies: Made by Many, Ideo and Idiom Design (in that order). The first two are fairly similar, the third rather sparse – it looks like it uses frames, which have their own usability and search issues. If I’m wrong, feel free to correct me, I’d love to learn more.

A spending diary

spending_ny2I found this on Ffffound. The source is apparently Diametunim, but all I can see there is the word ‘reboot’, which takes me nowhere particularly interesting. (Dear owner-of-Diametunim, you may want to change that).

Anyway, I thought the visualization of spending plotted against the geography of New York was quite interesting. Imagine if you had that for your expenses. Would you avoid certain areas of a city because you knew you were prone to spend more in those areas? Or would it mean that you tend to have more fun in those areas, and so would you hang around those areas more?