Authors: Dandan Huang, Melanie Tory, Lyn Bartram
Abstract: Designing visualization for everyday life is challenging, yet design approaches in this field are not well explored. We propose a design approach that implements data as additional media in an existing information ecosystem rather than within a stand-alone application, hoping to enhance on-going awareness and lower the cost of long-term maintenance. This approach was implemented as a web application that integrates time-varying data as an additional visualization layer in a personal digital calendar. We suggest that personal digital calendars can provide personal context to assist with data interpretation and can lower the barriers of accessing data without interfering with daily routines. We deployed our prototype in two pilot field studies, with data streams from household electricity meters and Fitbit devices, respectively. The preliminary results were encouraging. As a different approach towards designing visualizations that can fit into people’s routines, we hope our work can inspire future exploration of design approaches that can bring the power of visualization to people’s everyday lives.