Design process

This is an abridged version of my full process, which can be found here:


“Your challenge is to visualize an ephemeral phenomenon in the complex system of the city of Pittsburgh.

You will also propose one positive change to the system that could come about if what you visualized is used to make system-wide change.

The form of this visualization is purposefully open-ended, however it should consider user interaction.”


An interface where people can input demographic and music preference information to see how their profiles relate to other Pittsburghers’. Basically, relationships between people in Pittsburgh through music. My community goal was to show those relationships in the interface in order to push the idea that despite the different Pittsburgh communities (demographic information), people could find connectedness in music.


The interface in my inspiration was meant for generating a poster design based on people’s voices, but my idea was to design an interface where people could input their demographic and music preference information and receive some sort of mappable symbol which could be added to the interface as a profile once completed. The bottom row made me think of using symbols to represent each profile’s information in my map. I wanted my interface to include a gridded map as inspired by one of the books Daphne brought in (to display all the symbols).

Update on comparing profiles

  • Not showing technical % similarity
  • Showing instead relationships between songs, artist, etc. in tiers (ranked based on how indicative of relation each category is)
  • Tier 1: same songs
  • Tier 2: same artists
  • Tier 3: related artists
  • Tier 4: same genre
  • Tier 5: same age
  • The point is not to show relations in demographics but that info was collected to show variety of participants forming relationships

Design process

Initial style, layout and symbol coding iterations

More iterations + style/mood boards

Final iteration helpers

Final interface