Design Communication 2 provided me with an opportunity to apply my graphic design skills to the translation of my own insights. This was a new endeavor since up to this point in my professional career I had to visually translate other people’s content and ideas. With the user observations already completed, my job was to analyze this data in various visual structures, develop a point of view, and deliver that point of view via a poster containing both user data and personal insights and perspective.
Testing Visual Depictions
Before I could have a point of view, I had to know the data. With a pack of sticky notes and a layered illustrator document, I teased out various categories of information. What I found most difficult about this exercise was that my brain kept wanting to categorize and recategorize the data as new trends started to emerge. But, I documented what I had and continue to wrestle with the data.
Ultimately, I developed three data visualizations which show my best thinking into the data that was provided. Because of the limited data set, I restricted myself to considering the tasks and how the women spoke of them, rather than the personas these women may have had.
When A Task Is More Than A Task
It was very clear from the data that these women use the internet to be efficient, but it seemed to me that each activity had an alterior motive. When a mom is navigating an online retailer’s website to purchase college textbooks, the immediate concern may be paying the best price or having the items shipped in time for her son’s first day of class. However, she is also supporting her son and enabling him to pursue his life’s passions and interests through a college education.
It struck me that these women tackled a lot of small tasks in order to take the steps necessary to achieve much larger goals: to be the best mom possible, to help their children be successful or to be the best version of themselves. The internet’s efficiency factor made it possible for these women to pursue these important pursuits. To me, this key insight was the most important takeway.
Upon reflection, I remembered that Maslow’s Hierarchy touched upon a similar note, so I tested this metaphor as a frame for the data. I returned to my lists of activities and charted the activities in the relevant pyramid segments; I discovered how and what these women did to meet needs and the relevant context. The structure matched what the women were reporting, but also indicated key attitudes about the work, which I teased out in my final poster below.