Time and information design

How do your spend your day?

And would you like to see it represented visually, as a graph maybe? How about a colourful chart?

Jamie Young blogs about time use surveys at the RSA site Design and Behaviour. I’m not sure what Edward Tufte would make of it all but it’s always welcome when the statistics break free of the spreadsheet and into a more visual and immediately accessible form.

Time use surveys give you an idea of what people are doing throughout their day. This is useful for clinicians, facilities managers, transport advisers – and obviously us creatives. It gives us a broad insight into where poeple are, what they’re doing and hints as to how to talk to them better.

The challenge with surveys like this is that for most people no two days are the same. Each day has its own slight variations. Whereas the demographic, geographic and activity can be plotted the disposition, mood and psychographic (if you like) are a lot harder to predict!

If you do follow the links above and are interested in information design, especially the representation of data, then please do avail yourself of Tufte’s works. His work the most beautiful and consistently clear presentation of information that I’ve enjoyed for a long time.

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