Mozilla recently made an open call to designers to get involved in their project “Lizard Reader”. Lizard Reader was created by Les Orchard and is an aggregator for various new feeds from the Mozilla community. Tweets, blog posts, bug reports, wiki changes, code submits, etc get collected. The opportunity for designers is to submit concepts, sketches or prototypes of a intuitive, easy readable and fun frontend for the engine.
We here at Datavisualization.ch are very fond of the open source mentality and are using most of the Mozilla products on a daily basis. Therefore we couldn’t let the chance pass us by and not submitting something. So here goes my concept:
I’ve chosen the sea as a metaphore. News items get dropped into it and then float to the ground where they get arranged and archived just like sediments in the sea. The names of the authors or creators float in the air and arrange themselves just like a swarm of birds.News items basically consist of an author, date, title, body text and a link to the original ressource. Items can be viewed in a more detailed version by clicking on it.
When a post is viewed in more detail it pulls related posts in a hierarchic view. Related posts could be by the same author, covering the same topic, edits on the same wiki page or reporting of the same bug.
To get an overview over past days the user can “dig” deeper in the ground and reveal past layers of sediments. By the density and chromaticity of the layer one can judge what happened during the day without having to view every post by itself. This creates a fingerprint and patterns for different activities in the community could emerge.
I encourage you to leave your feedback about the visualization – I know there’s always space for improvement.