Done! Pretty much anyways. All of the major data for the infographic is now in place – I’m sure I’ll make a few final tweaks, but for the most part I’m pretty happy with it. Tonight I spent most of my time wrestling with a few ideas of how to present comparisons between Tony G. and the current crop of Tight Ends in the league. I started with the idea of normalizing per season, but realized that most athletes, Tony included, experience their top performance in the early half of their career.Also, many athletes, Tony excludes, get injured as they get older and start missing games or have to stop playing all together. I had a thought that I would project out the averages of each player into the future to predict when would be the soonest they could catch any of Tony’s current records. As I started working on
I’m going to start this by agreeing with a sympathy that I think most men hold: Valentine’s day is a bit of a silly holiday that is a big deal mostly because of backing from card & flower companies. That said, it is highly unlikely that we will be able to change it, so here is how I think about it. Valentine’s day is a sport. Like all sports the rules are basically arbitrary. They were decided before you started playing the game. In a way, you are confined by them, but that is part of what makes it fun. Within the confines of the rules of the game, you get to use your creativity, skill and dedication to help you achieve optimal results. Winning! Valentines Day is a sport. It is a sport that all men in relationships are automatically signed up to play on one night of every year.
Night 5 of the Tony Gonzalez infographic. Tonight I mainly spent time making tweaks to sections of the image I had already worked on. Some of it was nitpicking pixels, but a good bit was adding new information to charts that I already thought were packed. I’m really happy with the additional information I was able to get into a few of them tonight. I’d like to take a moment to talk about my thoughts on design iteration. As I design a data visualization I constantly ask myself five questions: What story am I trying to tell right here? Can I add any additional insight? What can I remove without sacrificing the story? Is the image easy to understand on its own? How can I make this awesome? Repeating this process tends to refine the image with each iteration. As elements are added the visualization becomes easier to understand but
I gave a talk last month at the San Francisco Quantified Self meetup about the time tracking project I’ve been doing over the past 6 years. I would say more, but I don’t want to steal my own thunder.
19 hours down – the infographic now measures 16″ wide by 85″ tall – meaning it is officially taller than Tony Gonzalez. I wrapped the section comparing Tony’s career to 9 other of the greatest tight ends ever to play in the NFL. Here is a sneak preview, see if you can guess who each of them is just from the caricature. At this point I feel there are two things left to do: Compare Tony’s early years to the best tight ends of 2012 – to show how long the likes of Gronkowski and Graham have to go before catching the records of #88. Dig through the rest of the stats I have on Tony’s career looking for random trivia. We could be looking at a completed project in 2-3 more weeks which puts us right around the Free Agency start date. I’m not sure anything significant will happen
Tonight I spent 4 hours trying to represent some of football’s famous tight ends as vector images. How did I do? Random Trvia: I went to High School with Kellen Winslow Jr. and had a chance to meet his dad one day while I was setting up hurdles for a track workout. They were on the field doing a photo shoot for Sports Illustrated and the photographer needed an extra hand with something. I got to hang out for a bit and they took a few photos of me with the HOFer. I’m now 15 hours into this project and experiencing a bit of scope creep – the project keeps getting bigger as I get more done. I have however decided that I’m going to wait to release the final project until Tony either a) has an official retirement ceremony b) announces he will play for one more year. The marketer