l o o m 2
w  o  r  k   i  n   p  r  o  g  r  e  s  s
professor judith donath . danah boyd . hyun-yeul lee . dan ramage
w/ support from scott golder . ming-en cho . jonathan goler

Phase 04 - Exploring representations of an individual and their personality
These sketches explore how an individual might evolve over time and explore the ability to play with borders of a shape. One of the goals was to depict a continuum between two extremes, for example active participant - lurker, friendly - unfriendly participant who may flame frequently, etc.

We realised that although we can designate the concept of smoothe to spiky as different characteristics, these shapes still failed to convey the different personalities. This was because the shape's outer edge was too carefully crafted and controlled.

Another important aspect was the challenge to design a system of shapes using colour and form that could map across an entire newsgroup and intuitively show different levels of abstractions (i.e. visual reading that the shapes are mapping different participants as well as showing different characteristics of each participant such as activity, amount of flaming, etc.)

We first started to depict people as outlines of basic geometric shapes in different colours. Another level of complexity was added to each shape by the use of adding different brightness to show the two continuum. For example, a friendly participant may be conveyed by the colour yellow and a flamer may be conveyed by the colour red.
These five shapes on the left were the final five we came up with, in this iteration. Overall, the shape still showed that it was crafted and needed a way to express a more natural looseness and abstract form.
In this animation, we were thinking about how a shape would morph between friendly to less friendly characteristics.
Here we started to think about how text might be integrated when one zoomed in on the history of a spiky participant.