A Blooming Visualization

I wanted to find game visualization to keep with theme of the week, and I came across the Bloom. The goal of the blog is to build “a series of bite-sized applications that bring the richness of game interactions and the design values of motion graphics to the depth and breadth of social network activity…” In simpler words, the blog says its data visualization meets game design.

Interesting.

Here’s an example of how the company developed an app to organize music:

It’s described as a visual music play for the iPad. I don’t have an iPad but an app like this makes me want one. I wish the video was longer to show us how it works. I think it’s a fun app, not one I would use all the time because it probably drains the battery.

But I like because when you think of data visualization, you often think of serious datasets like a country’s poverty rates. This kind of data visualization takes advantage of the iPad’s screen resolution and visualizes data that people don’t normally think of as data, our music lists.

I tried out the Fizz app on my Facebook page. It took awhile to set up:

Um. What was the point of this visualization? The colors have no significance, the cluster of bubbles also don’t mean anything. The large bubble on the right is Al Jazeera’s status updates. Why are they different colors? What about grouping my friends, family, co-workers, etc?

It’s nice to look at but it doesn’t mean anything to me.

I’m also not sure whether I can modify the settings to organize the clusters in a particular group.

But, overall, why would a user use this data visualization over Facebook’s original layout? You miss out on the pictures and other options that Facebook provides.

I’m also unsure how much the game design factors into the visualization.

I think there are probably ways of implementing gaming concepts into data visualization, as I pointed out in my blog on Nintendo super genius, Miyamoto. But this doesn’t work for me.

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