data driven graphics made easy

Actions & Decisions

This is a record of actions and decisions, primarily to define the steps taken in the service design process, and explain why these are important. It is the attention to all the details that make a product like this successful.

Added more data to RWC try scorers list

7 November, 2015

The list had previously included players with 10 or more tries. I have just updated the list to include players with 8 or more tries. It was a pleasure to see the graphic redraw itself. I did have to make two small changes.
1. Add flag and colours for Ireland
2. In the totals column the single digit was no longer in the centre like two digits were (10 or more tries), so I had to use a conditional statement to position the number. These are things you don't always look out for, but when they happen you realise it should have been obvious.

Project "handed in"

4 November, 2015

The end of semester has arrived and the project is 'complete'. Well a website is never finished, but it is time for the project to be evaluated. I like to see this as the end of the beginning.

Rugby leading try scorers list completed

3 November, 2015

My first flagship example is complete - see a list the Rugby World Cup leading try scorers. I have also written another blog post about how data visualisation is used to communicate.

Photos taken for Bio page

30 October, 2015

The lovely Michaela took some studio photos of me today, so I could use one on my Bio page. I think it is important for a sole trader to show who they are. People who choose to deal with individuals do so because of the person. If you hide behind your website it may not be good for business. I even had a haircut first - now that is commitment!

I was very pleased with the result, and it was good to help Michaela as well as she needed some commercial portrait shots for an assignment. I went for a black and white rendering as it fits well with the general style of the website (almost everything except the graphics themselves are greyscale).

Working on flagship examples

20 October, 2015

Part of this website is to sell my services as grafixgeek. A good way to do this is have some good examples of the what I can do. So I have been looking for different things. I prefer to work with real data, so I've settled on a Rugby World Cup try scorers list, and on data about Horticultural Production and Exports from New Zealand. Both data sets have meaning for me, so it makes it more interesting. Also having an understanding of the data is key to deciding how to present it.

Second class presentation on

14 October, 2015

I focused on the prototype of the code generator. It seemed a little boring and it probably was. The lecturer is keen that I do something great to showcase my skills. Valuable feedback.

First code generating code prototype is underway

13 October, 2015

Very pleased to finally make a start on my graphics code generation products. The first one is a basic horizontal bar chart.

Added Resources section

2 September, 2015

This is useful for me and for any people using my website. The D3.js community is like many others on the internet - people who work together rather than against each other even if to some extent they "compete" with each other. The real competition comes from outside the product and the community.

Added boxes to the front page

2 September, 2015

I needed a content primer to at least explain to early visitors what the site was about. This will change over time as I get some real content.

Presented project to the rest of the class

2 September, 2015

As per the course requirements. My success will depend in part on my ability to deliver a polished presentation. I think it went OK, but it isn't every graphic designer's cup of tea.

Installed Google Analytics

1 September, 2015

Knowing how your website is being used is critical to decision making. Google Analytics is a very important tool in this regard, and being free its use is a no-brainer.

Split Process and About

1 September, 2015

These two deserve different sections. Process is the visual diary part of this project, whereas About more formally defines what it is that these service does. Ultimately Process may disappear from public view so it makes sense to separate them out now. What goes into each section is up for debate as there is clearly some overlap. Content that is thought to be more useful to another reader will likely end up in About, while more personal reflection and rough notes form part of the Process.

Website framework in place

1 September, 2015

Now that this is done I can focus on the content, and making it all happen. Just in time for the first formal class presentation tomorrow. Of course a website is 'never finished' but there is always an initial chunk of work that is good to have completed while the rest forms the basis of incremental improvements.

Purchased and installed Craft CMS

26 August, 2015

Craft CMS was purchased and installed on my favourite webhost Arcustech. Craft is great because it allows the developer complete freedom in creating the front end, while at the same time having a really easy to use content management control panel.

Request for a professional looking headshot

26 August, 2015

When one person runs a service like this, they need a professional headshot. Customers want to know who they are dealing with, and they choose a business like this so they are not dealing with some anonymous corporate. You have to show yourself.

Site tagline 'data driven graphics made easy'

26 August, 2015

Part the service design is explaining what you do in a simple, clear, non-ambiguous way. I hope this nails it!

Decided to go with light version of Opens Sans font

26 August, 2015

i thought a lightweight sans serif font like Helvetica light would be what I wanted. Open Sans is free, and it's not Helvetica.

Decided on clean look.

26 August, 2015

Plus low contrast font colour against grey background. Site will be shades of grey. Understated generally, and let the graphics sparkle.

Purchased domain name

12 August, 2015

Finding a good .com domain name is hard. It is an important part of service design.