It was our first week of the project and I was excited. However, I was careful not to become overzealous and burn myself out at the very first assignment. My approach was therefore simple: I just recorder every glance at the watch, along with the timestamp.
Streamlining the collection of the data was key for me. I considered using a paper notebook at first, but ultimately taking screenshots on my phone turned out to work best. After all, I check the time on my phone most often. This approached turned out to be very convenient.
With every passing day, I had the tendency of looking at the clock less and less often. As soon as on the second day of the assignment, I learned to unlock my phone without glancing at the clock at the lock screen.
Drawing was a pleasure. From the very beginning I wanted my postcard to resemble the famous numeric paintings by Polish artist Roman Opałka. Ultimately, I had fewer data points than I’d expected and I pivoted to grouping the data into the days of the week. I think the readability of the viz benefitted from that approach.
Starting our project with a topic related to clocks and timekeeping turned out to be quite a challenge for me! Primarily because it generates a lot of data points.
Transitioning from collecting just very select data from my life (e.g. various health data collected via my Apple Watch; recording my expenses manually in Excel) to making a note of each and every single time I check the time — it was a big change.
It quickly occurred to me how often I check the time — and how many different clocks surround us: one on the wrist, another one on the phone, tablet, computer, taxi, clock towers, etc.
Also, this obligation to make note of every glance at my watch taught me to check time less often.
I decided to keep all my data points in good ol’ paper notebook. Using my iPhone for that purpose seemed troublesome — reaching for my phone, unlocking it with PIN-code (because FaceID won’t work with me having my face mask on), opening a dedicated app, finding the right file — a very discouraging ordeal. Especially, when repeated many times a day.
A paper notebook solves a lot of those problems. But it creates another — you need to remember to always keep it on you. Fortunately, I made it a habit very quickly.
I dreaded the drawing part! I had doubts about my own creativity and drawing skills (or lack thereof). Somewhat surprisingly, I’m happy with how the first card turned out.
One thing I learned very quickly was that it helps to have a data viz in mind before you even start collecting the data.