First of all, I really enjoyed all of the visuals presented in class on Wednesday. I thought they all showed interesting research in unique ways. To sum up how and why visualizations are important to any form of research, I am going to begin with a definition from class. On the visualization PowerPoint, visualization was defined as a way to enhance, refine, and re-define our understanding through visual representation.
Enhancement. That is what I believe visualizations provide to research, presentations, documents, etc. I think visualizations should help us gain a better understanding of the subject matter, by presenting, or re-defining, the information in a new, interesting way. I think this is the purpose of visualizations. We already have the subject matter, so now we must present it in a way that makes sense, and enhances what we are trying to prove. I think visualizations are being used in this way, since all of the ones shown in class simply present data by means of different graphs, tables, visuals, animations, etc. The visualizations shown could definitely enhance a project dealing with the appropriate subject matter, because they will engage viewers and spark their interest. The visualizations could also provide viewers with a better understanding of the subject matter. If a visual does either one of those, I think it is worth viewing.
Most of the visualizations shown in class on Wednesday were very informative and interesting. My three personal favorites were the Peak Break-Up Times, the Twitter Chatter during the Superbowl, and the Open Heat Map. The main factor I liked in each one of these was simplicity. They were interesting, but easy to follow and understand. I felt like these visualizations acknowledged the idea of enhancement, because they didn’t try to show too much information at once. I also enjoyed the Mood Inferred from Twitter visualization because of the color. I think color is an excellent way to present information in an eye-catching, fascinating way.
For my project, we are comparing texts of Little Women in a user-friendly, tabbed screen. We are comparing the original document with scripts, different editions of the book, and musical adaptations. To do this, our project already requires a tremendous amount of visualization. Visualization is going to be used to convey the main purpose of our project, which is the comparisons. The comparison screen needs to be visually appealing, easy to understand, and professional. We plan to have boxes for readers to select choices, tabbed screens, different windows, and more. Since we have so many elements to our comparison screen, visualization will allow us to present the tool in a coherent, simple way. I think the visuals shown in class simply reinforce the notion that our project is going to require a high degree of visualization.