Feedback from professors

 In In Progress - Thesis

Over the course of the past two days, I’ve met with Andrew Pletch and Sara Jecko. Andrew has given me some interesting feedback in terms of technicality and the graph itself (not necessarily the content). Sara’s feedback was from the perspective of someone who is part of my intended audience.

Andrew had so much to offer that it became slightly overwhelming. One of the most interesting things he pointed out was that the graph should exist in a three dimensional space rather than two dimensions. I’m not sure if I exactly agree with that. The graph is complex enough (something Josh pointed out, but that sometimes just works).

Andrew also pointed out that users should have control over what they would like to see on the graph. Search fields, drop downs and sliders could all make their way into the graph. That way the user can have more control over the graph. This may be a good way to address the complexity the graph currently has.

When meeting with Sara Jecko, she said she’d like to see something like that as well. I have to give that some thought. Because when I did show her (and explained to her) what the project was, she totally understood. But I let her explore the graph on her own without much direction and I think that sort of intimidated her. With the super sensitive track pad and the small screen (well, 15 inches is small in this case), I think it stressed her out a bit. I would honestly like to keep the graph at this level of complexity so that users will be inclined to explore on their own. But, directions are a must. Whether it be in the top left region (which I have some dummy text in, but it’s still not showing up. The HTML file was a little wonky with divs that weren’t closed) or a window that pops up right when you start, there has to be directions. For the sake of the Thesis show, I think having directions always visible on the top left is a good choice.

In terms of the content and premise of the project, Sara was incredibly interested. She suggested that I remove the certification of the album and keep the Grammy column focused on just the single; not the album. Anything included in the spreadsheet should be focused on the song.

So what are my next steps? The biggest thing I need to get done is the print. But I also started adding all of the songs for the Year End Singles. The chart goes back to 1946. My goal today is to finish adding those songs. Since I have all of the sites I used bookmarked, getting this information shouldn’t take too long. I’ll finish those, add them to Gephi and continue with the print. I’d like to have multiple sizes to show for midterm.

Once I feel I have a substantial amount to show, I will move that information online. I want to figure out why these directions are not showing in that top left region. I also need to narrow down my color selection. The node size is dependent on how many connections each one has. I think I’m going to keep it that way. Just in case, I’ll add another graph online that has nodes all of the same size.

For the show, I started thinking how I’m going to be displaying this graph online. I’m finishing this post on a Windows machine (with a 23 inch display) and the graph looks pretty good and performs great. However, the color is slightly off. I have Windows installed through Bootcamp on my machine. I’d like to see how it looks color wise on there. On the Mac side, it runs great in all three browsers (Firefox is a little weird sometimes). That’s only on my machine though; if I use one in the studio, it lags like crazy. I noticed Firefox is WAY out of date. Chrome is out of date as well. I’ll ask Peter if he could update both browsers. I wonder if that would change anything.

Since it does perform great in OSX, showing the graph on an external display would be the most ideal. I have a 23-inch display in my room so I could bring that. Perhaps I could find a 27 inch display to borrow. I’d use a more accessible mouse. The Magic Mouse might stress people out. The zoom is so sensitive and makes it hard to navigate the graph.

Lots to do. Which is good. I know exactly what I need to get done. I’m pumped.