A data narrative documenting the journeys of designers
Using data from the 2019 AIGA Census, we created a website that allows people to browse the journeys of countless designers using the metaphors of constellations.
There are many data points in the 2019 AIGA Census we want to draw from to show the comprehensive journey of each designer. But how do we tie everything together elegantly and intuitively without compromising the depth of information?
Constellations, a concept tied with navigation and fate, past and future, offering a flexible form, became our overarching metaphor. Below is a diagram of how a constellation is constructed from a designer’s input.
On the home page, users can filter constellations by categories, browse by sub-regions, and search up individual constellations by names.
Clicking on an individual constellation takes users into the profile view, where they can understand the make-up of each part through hovering.
Designers can also add their own unique constellations to the night sky by answering questions about their journey. A split-screen display allows users to enter information on the left while witnessing the creation of their constellation live on the right.
Dreamy, Soothing, and Magical
On a black background echoing the night sky, we use a minimal palette of white and grey with occasional pops of saturated colors to highlight information or provide moments of delight.
Wagon and Kaisei Decol were chosen as title and header to emulate a celestial feel through the contrast of strokeweight, with the neutral and readable Mulish to balance them out.
We opted for a simple and straightforward website structure, scaffolding information one step at a time, where users can uncover things at their own pace.
Researching & analyzing data
We started with the question “what makes a satisfied designer?” Having satisfaction as our focal point, we then explored different data categories––salary, location, discipline & industry, challenges, etc––to find interesting relationships and trends.
Conceptualizing into metaphor
How can we display our data in an engaging way? How can we scaffold the learning of our data visualization? How can we humanize this our data display? Can we turn this into a growing pool of data? These were the questions we constantly asked ourselves while brainstorming visual solutions.
When bringing our explorations into higher fidelity, we struggled a lot with finding the right balance between the elegance of form and the complexity of information, and how to create unique yet visually cohesive constellations