I learned about the Dear Data project from a session about Dear Data Two at the 2015 Tableau Conference. (The On Demand sessions are amazing AND free! If you’re interested in Tableau you should check them out right now.) The original project is a year long series of weekly postcards exploring personal data. The postcards are gorgeous, blurring the line between numbers and art. The creators (Georigia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec) use creative methods to pack insane amounts of information into a tiny space. The Dear Data Two presenters (Andy Kreibel and Jeffrey Shaffer) took the topics from the original project, made their own postcards, and then built them in Tableau. (This talk also lead me to Andy Kreibel’s blog, and Makeover Monday!)
I began recording data for this project Sunday July 2nd, 2017, which conveniently lands a week from my birthday and right next to the midpoint for the year.
This week was all about time and clocks. I’m interested in my perception of time, so I made predictions and then checked the actual time. My predictions include a range (it’s between 11:30 and 12:00) and an exact guess (11:45). I also recorded the exact time and the clock used.
I recorded all of this week’s data in my everyday notebook and tried to keep the notebook open to that page and visible to remind me to make guesses. There’s a big red stop sign in the corner of the page to keep me from checking the time before guessing, which happened a few times anyway! I tried to make a least three guesses each day, recording the range, exact guess, actual time, along with the clock used to verify the time.
Tuesday was a holiday, which made data gathering tricky, every other day has 3+ records.
Once I guessed the exact time to the minute!!
From the data it looks like I’m most aware of the time in the afternoon, which matches my experience – I check the time a lot right after lunch! The huge gap between 3 and 9 on weekdays makes sense too. I’m pretty busy during that time – wrapping up projects, running errands, going to class or making dinner.
There are a couple mistakes in the drawing, but overall it looks pretty good! I got lucky – the 3:00 – 9:00 gap in the middle of the week allowed me to fit everything onto one side of the postcard. It was surprising how many little choices went into designing the card. Should I include all 24 hours, or just the relevant ones? Should the card end at one, or at midnight, wrapping around to the next day? How should I show the exact guess and exact time? I think this project will definitely help with my design skills!