Which symbols are more successful?

Data Visualization, 2015


People love finding patterns, and presenting complex information in an easy to understand graphic is a fantastic way for people to find the story behind data. This 3-week long project aims at presenting qualitative data with the Processing program.

Ian Bellomy provided source code that helped link raw data to Processing document. , 2015



Original Data & Content

The 54 symbols come from a project called "Universal Symbols in Health Care" in which one of my professor is the researcher to test symbol comprehension.
Doctors, patients, and people on the street are asked their understanding of the symbols. Researchers code the quantitative data according to score sheet to know what level people understand the designed symbols. Scoring codes are Correct, Incorrect, Partial, and Fatal. 85% correction is considered successful symbol.

original data



Potential audience that comes to this visualization might be designers/researchers, research institution, and general public. I set my target audience as mainly designers and researchers of the project.

Key information to present: Percentage of Correct, Incorrect, Partial, and Fatal of each symbol.
Also, knowing how the comprehension level of each symbol rank in the symbol system will help designers improve their design.
I did some sketches based on those considerations.



Then I moved to work in Processing. Challenges come up while I take advantages of coding. I was dealing with numerous coding issues like was not able to make full circle around each symbol and not able to have sorting loop work. In the other hand, the program provided a more efficient way to visualize the concept compared with design tools like Adobe Illustrator.


Final Design

I went with the round circles route. It is very clear for the dominate coding of each symbol with the length and color of rings. In each page symbols are sorted by different criteria. Mouse click trickers loop that goes from symbol number - %correct - %partial - %incorrect - %fatal. A certain symbol will scale up when you hover over the certain one to see it more clearly.


You can download the processing file and run on your computer from the following links. 


If you are interested, I have another data visualization project here. It's about queuing in our daily life.