Story Board

When creating the story board I had create it around the audio which I have chosen. When listening to it I decided to us the build up to the song as a chance to explain the the characters situation. When doing this I thought it would be quite good to introduce some kinetic type, to give reasons of why you may turn to drink.

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Here being the 1st scene i thought it would be important to experiment with perspective of the building to set the right presence. I want the pub to appear on top of the character yet look welcoming, to show how controlling and misrepresented drinking is. I decided that the perspective drawing of the building with close vanishing points makes is the most successful in acheaving this.

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This story board includes narrative, timings and transitions all based on the analysis of my data. I shall now start the process of actually creating the animation using adobe photoshop, illustrator and after effects. Throughout this process there will naturally be change to the story board and timings so I will need to reflect on these changes.

 

 

 

LATCH Theory

While information may be infinite, the ways of structuring it are not. And once you have a place in which the information can be plugged, it becomes that much more useful. Your choice will be determined by the story you want to tell. Each way will permit a different understanding of the information—within each are many variations. However, recognizing that the main choices are limited makes the process less intimidating.

LATCH Theory

L-Location

A- Alphabet

T- Time

C- Category

H- Hierarchy

Location

I chose to use the UK as I’m more familiar with my own lifestyle culture and how people treat drink. I think including other countries wouldn’t of produced any real data that would change peoples perception on alcohol abuse, due to the fact that it would be quite easy to go and blame other countries for particular data stats. Also, in the media we are exposed to many stories in the papers about youth culture binge drinking, yet we never here about the main age group that drink the most which is in age bracket of 40-50. I think using the data and tacking the UK age as a whole will work quite well in shocking most people, and getting people to change there ways.

Alphabet

This method lends itself to organizing extraordinarily large bodies of information, such as words in a dictionary or names in a telephone directory. I don’t think the data I collected would have any use of alphabetic organisation. I think my data leans towards Category.

Time

I think the use of time using short animation and a narrative for quite a lengthy set of data, demonstrates how dangerous alcohol can be in a short period of time. Having 20 scenarios run at 1-2 seconds in length each creates short and snappy incidentaces, which will shock the audience.

Category

I think my data can be categorised into two main subjects. One is direct self harm and the other being harm to society. These two factors are very important as this is the key for the narrative to create a shocking story. Some particular incidences  e.g the abortion- where the main character shouts at his pregnant wife, indicates how alcohol can be so destructive to others. As well  as this the data can also be categories into external and internal harm. In the media we either hear about one or the other yet we never hear about them being discussed together. I think this is where my data visual becomes quite unique as it incorporates both harm on the inside and the outside of the body.

Hierarchy

I think my information is structured so that the data no matter how small or large are presented as in equilibrium as the separate diagnosis don’t represent how detrimental they can be to the country. There is a slight risk in this approach as the audience could naturally categories the the separate diagnosis and compare this with the time their shown, resulting in the audience thinking that each diagnoses is as commonly recurring as the other. It is important that at then end of the main narrative that I clarify what percentage of the total admissions each diagnoses carries.

Using LATCH has allowed me to further understand the data I have gathered and has also caused me to make some different design decisions to the development of my inforgrohic. Some areas of Latch weren’t applicable to my data yet others were extremely helpful as a guide to now making my story board for the final data graphic.

 

 

 

 

Song choice

For my animation I need an appropriate song choice to set the right mood to gain the right feelings about the content of the animation. Here I shall link a few potential songs that I think I could use, and choose the most appropriate song.

This song is very relative lyric wise, however when listening to the song it makes me smile. This is not the reaction I want from my audience when watching the animation.

This song being a personal favourite of mine, I like for he fact its very emotional. However, due to the song  being very moving it my potentially take away from the contents of the animation. I think a wise decision would be to leave this song out of potential use.

This song could potentially set the mood quite nicely, however the lyrics are not directly appropriate to the subject matter of the data. The song also doesn’t enhance any other features of the storyline like the irony of the drink serendipity.

This song fits in really well with my idea of a story. The song starts off calm then suddenly drops repetitive but even symbols throughout. The smashing of the symbols would be good for separating the different NHS alcohol related attendance’s into separate little snippets that my character could experience.

Has some great lyrical metaphors in the song, however the song is too heavy for what my intentions of the storyline. I want a song that enters softly, then suddenly changes into something heavy that would enhance the experience of the destruction unfolding in the animation.

Through listening to the songs carefully I’ve decided that the best option would be to use the song cover of ‘Feeling Good’ by Muse. I came to this discussion as this song starts up slowly which would help create the scene of the character deciding to drink. The song then takes a sudden change which is perfect for the destruction that will unfold due to the consequences of him drinking.  As well as, this the song is very iconic as many people have heard the original and the cover. So I also took on the decision to use the instrumental version of the cover song as i think the lyrics are not necessary. The audience when listening to  song will sing in their heads at appropriate times the words ‘feeling good’. This works well for the fact that I’m using the drink serendipity, so it all adds to the irony of the animation.

 

 

Mixology Poster

mixology

After coming home this morning, I so happened to look up and take interest in a poster that was situated on my friends wall. This is poster/ menu of how to create some exotic alcoholic beverages, using colourful and simple illustrations to entice you into making these drinks. After looking through all the names I stumbled across some very interesting names that became of interest to my project.

Blood and Sand

This drink unsurprising came of interest as the name instantly creates an image of blood spilled sands that you would find during or after a war. As I’ve previously mentioned I wanted to take my data and somehow relate it to aspects of war, and this could potentially be a key part that does that in my data visualisation.

Grateful Dead

The word ‘grateful’ means having the feeling of showing appreciation for something done or received. Potentially, this could also incorporate its name into my data visualisation, as you almost want to add a question mark on the end of the name for the purposes of my subject data. Its a question for the audience after witnessing the data, that ask themselves does the aftermath of drinking give yourself a sense of ‘appreciation’ of what they have done or what they could potentially do.

Serendipity

When coming across the name of this drink I had no clue of what it meant, so I researched it and found it to be quite thought provoking. Serendipity means a “happy accident” or “pleasant surprise”; a fortunate mistake. Specifically, the accident of finding something good or useful while not specifically searching for it. My thoughts from reading this definition made me think of the minds of someone who turns to alcohol. Reasons people generally turn to drink because they feel, annoyed, tired, lonely, lost or maybe they feel uncomfortable, unconfident, socially awkward. In turn, the name of this drink almost presents itself as the escape route to finding the solution for these problems, which you could say advertising does with alcohol for the purposes of selling it. Initially, I thought of just using this name and again adding a question mark to end of it for the purposes of being rhetorical. However, I researched further and looked up the opposite word for ‘Serendipity’ and came across another word unbeknownst to me called. ‘Zemblanity’ (being a new term that hasn’t reached many English dictionaries, however can be easily found and interoperated on the internet) means the somewhat opposite of Serendipity: “making unhappy, unlucky and expected discoveries by design. Effectively Zemblanity is an ‘unpleasant un-surprise’. In turn, this began to excite me as a story unfolded in my head for my data. I imaged the scenario of a man sat at the bar after finishing his third or forth pint. Finishing his last sip, he scrolls the bar menu to see amongst the drinks ‘Serendipity’. He chooses and finishes this drink in the hope that it resolves what ever issues maybe troubling him. Then havoc unfolds with scenarios relating to the data all coming together to form sequential destruction. Fortunately, we are brought back the the initial scene, where we are then again exposed to the man looking up at the bar menu, which he will now read Zemblanity. In his best interests he refuses. I think this is a very strong story for my data, as the audience would certainly gain new prospective of how drinking is presented being harmless, and gain a new view of how dangerous binge drinking can be.

Animation Idea

After doing my research I think the best way to present my subject of data would be through animation. I think allowing data to unfold itself through movement of numbers and imagery would allow the audience to engage more, rather than simply creating a flat still image. My reasoning for this is that I want my subject of data to reveal destruction and not simply just show the consequences of abusive drinking. I think with the subject matter of alcohol abuse and the media, we are simply thrown numbers and the end results of excessive drinking, rather than actaully experiencing the chaos unfolding in front of us. I came to this realisation when experiencing at hand someone being glassed, which shocked and disgusted me putting me off drinking any further. Consequently, this was my initial intention of how I wanted my data to reveal itself and thus came to the reasoning of making an animation. Also, after analysing the documentary ‘High on Alcohol’, it only further enhanced by desire to create havoc and destruction with the terminology used to describe the body ‘killing’ itself. Therefore, I will now start planning a storyline from my data,  so I can then go on to developing an animation.

The Data/ Main narrative

Now after filtering through quantitative data, critically analysing documentaries for qualitative data, choosing animation for production and have a basic idea of a narrative, I now think I’m ready to start planning my infograhic.

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This is going to be my main source of data that I’m going to use to illustrate destruction in my animation infographic. Here I think even though the data is great, it is very large to use in an animation which will only be two minutes long max. To resolve this problem, I came to the decision of grouping diagnoses together to shorten the table and make it possible to show the data in the animation. As well as this, I also considered that the data is very health related, whereas I wanted my data to mainly show distraction outside of the body. Therefore, I also picked out diagnoses that are under main headings like assault, fall injuries etc.

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After filtering through the diagnoses, I shortened the categories into twenty main areas which I will animate. Doing this has left some very large difference between the data for the seperate diagnoses. However this is not an issue for what i want to accomplish, as it not only highlights the main issues with alcohol abuse, but will also demonstarte the small but extreme cases. Its important that I include the percentages  for the twenty separate diagnoses in the animation, as I don’t want to present false representations of the data. Here I also started to create a story for a main character experiencing all of the twenty scenarios. I had to think of visuals that would not only give a good depiction of the data, but also follow suit so that the character could experience all of the data scenarios.

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1. Fall Injuries- 22,000:  This being the first of the destruction once he’s drank is an easy discussion to make. I think either falling off the chair at the bar or falling out of the bar would clear enough indication of the data.

2. Assault- 7,400: Falling out the bar would be perfect for leading up to an assault. The main character being under the influence thinks it might be someone stood outside the bar, to which he then stabs him with a broken bottle

3. Accidental Excessive Coldness- 100: Walking down the street and starts shivering. When seeing this stat I initially imagined the character being frozen, which would have been the best way to illustrate this stat, however this wouldn’t of made sense for the story to continue.

4. Pedestrian Traffic Accidents- 1000: The best way to illustrate this scene would be simply to get my character to enter a car and run someone over.

5. Road Traffic Accidents- non Pedestrian- 3,800: Simply follows after running someone over to then crash into another moving vehicle.

6. Spontaneous Abortion- 8,600: After the main character has crashed the car, he then goes into the flat and starts to shout at his pregnant wife. Wife responds through shedding a tear. I think this is scene that will take the balance from humorous and seriousness well into the later.

7. Fire Injuries- 600: Consequently because of the crash the cars set on fire which sets a block of flats on fire. In a standard block of flats I imagine hundreds of people living in it, so this illustrates the data figure quite effectively.

8. Fire Arm Injuries- 100: After causing this chaos, the police are now out to try and stop the main character. Policeman shoots and misses but hits a pedestrian by accident. This adds to the fact that drink doesn’t directly effect the individual , its affects people surrounding the individual abusing the alcohol (society).

9. Cancer- 37,600:  When designing for this scene it was difficult, as the subject of cancer can be quite a touchy subject to most people. To resolve this problem, I used a metaphor of a ‘C-bomb’ which is normally associated with a foul word. I think the audience will be able to understand that the C stands for cancer, and wont come across as offensive.

10. Water Transport Accidents- 100: Tries to escape from the blast of the ‘C-bomb’ to which he then crashes into a wall.

11. Mental and Behavioural Disorders- 206,800: I think a good idea for this scene would be to have escaping personalities, to indicate that the main character isn’t himself. Possibly I could move this to before he shouts at his wife. This would indicate that he’s shouting at her and has no control over his actions.

12. Violence- Intentional Self Harm- 20,400: Here I think its a pretty simple decision to have him injure himself through the frustration of his actions.  Maybe punch a glass window, hit his own head etc.

13. Toxic Effect- 36,200: Here we started to move onto what happens inside the body. The toxic effect is simply the blood vessels swelling in the pancreas. consequently, I imagined the imagery of blood vessels simply fill in up with green.

14. Digestive- 27,500: As a result of the blood vessels swelling the overall pancreas swells up also. Therefore, I think it would be good to make the pancreas swell up and also change it gradually from a healthy brown to bright green.

15. Inhalation of gastric contents- 800: The symptoms for this diagnoses is that the airways become trapped. This doesn’t have to be something you’ve  swallowed it could be from  vomiting which happens from the digestive system producing more acid causing acid reflux. Put simply, alcohol irritates your digestive system and you regurgitate .So for imagery I imagined the green acid flowing up the respiratory tract then turning into a fiery colour to indicate struggling to breath.

16. Hypertensive Disease- 454,500: Hypertensive disease is high blood pressure that can effect the heart directly causing palpitations. I think a good illustration of this would be having a pressure gauge inside the heart reaching an irregular reading of over 200 mmHg (millimeters of mercury haemoglobin)

17. Cardiac Arrythmias- 217,400: This in simpler terms means irregular heart beat. A normal resting heart beat follows the pattern of:

_____/\_/\________/\_/\________/\_/\

With an illustration of a heart I shall show this with it initially beating normally, increase the amount of pumps and shorten the rest periods to make it look like the heart is working more ferociously:

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

18. Alcoholic Liver Disease- 49,500: To me its obvious what comparing a healthy to a none healthy liver would look like. I imagine a nice healthy maroon colour changing to dark almost black, shrivelling as this change in colour happens.

19. Other attributable conditions- 124,200: Here I can’t create any direct imagery so this is where the character will simply fall to the ground because he has been through too much.

20. Work/ Machine Injuries- 1,400: This I feel is an important stat to mention however I didn’t manage to fit it within my narrative. I could potentially just add it to other attributable conditions, however I feel this stat needs to be mentioned. Im going to have still images of each scene explaining what they are, so I will just add it to the ending of the animation.

 

 

 

 

Curated bye

Curated by Narratives is a one day conference exploring how stories are structured, built and crafted to communicate messages through a range of formats and media. Centred around key practitioners who build narrative structures into their work, telling stories to engage their audience, these stories are realised in a variety of settings formats, can be linear and non- linear, static and sequential, analogue and digital. The speakers share ideas, processes, attitudes and possibilities for the me to consider, and also reveals their influences of the development of the speakers.

Brendan Dawes: Designer and Artist

Brendan Dawes is a designer and artist exploring the interaction of objects, people, technology and art using an eclectic mix of digital and analog materials, for himself and for clients around the globe

When listening to Brendan I gathered that this designer is far more interested in exploring other processes to create designs, rather than using generic tools like Photoshop and other mainstream tools. In turn, I think the main message he was presenting to the audience was that as designers we should ‘make the tools to make a design’ as this will create a more fulfilled and powerful outcome. This opened my eyes as I think not limiting yourself to tools naturally given to us as designers, would allows us to design more freely and create more diverse and meaningful conclusions. I think during task one I may have not fully gained the awareness of how important it is to explore different systems to create other data visuals outcomes. I had a fixed perception that a flat, static image would be the best way to represent my data, and this is not the case as I now realise that other types of outcomes relative to my data, may draw in more emotion, understanding and embrace more of the audiences senses. Also, Brendan used the term ‘interaction’ allot to demonstrate his development of his work. In turn, I think wether I do create a flat, static image or an operating 3D object as a conclusion, it is vital that the outcome is accessible and is able to allow the audience to make discussions based upon whats in front of them.

jamesbondkills

To celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of Dr. No, this design demonstrates through colour, shape and scale the number of kills in the official james bond films. This design itself, though simple and easily produced, contains factual and engaging data, which many of the target audience,  (James Bond Fans) will gain an different outlook on all the films and also raise questions from the data within the design. This design somewhat creates a beautiful appearance with its contrast of red and turquoise circles on a plain black surface, yet the subject matter is about the number kills by James Bond directly. This jogged my memory back to what Brody said about making information ‘pretty’ and wether its relevant to the data. In this particular case I do think its relevant as its beauty comes from the simplicity of shape and contrasting colour, which doesn’t disguise or represent the data wrongly. Personally what shocked me about this data was that that my favourite film Goldeneye, coincidently had the most kills. Sequently, I started to ask myself question of why this maybe the case? Do I prefer action rather than storyline? Does it indicate what time of film watcher I am? Do I have a short attention span? Was there a need for that many kills? Personally I could say that this particular infographic is successful as it has got me to raise questions and gain a different view on not only the films but myself. What I take from this is that when creating my data visualisation, the data or the aesthetics in conjunction with the data must raise question within then onlookers mind. The questions raised might be about alcohol abuse directly or the viewer questions there self beliefs on the matter at hand. How I go about this is unclear at this stage, however once I start to compile the the data and process it then appropriate techniques will become clear to produce a successful outcome. Furthermore, from analysing this piece of work I now realise how it is possible to raise questions out of a subject that people would rarely consider thinking about, as interaction with data sets and visuals creates two languages which aides the minds of the audience to understand the information.

tweets

For the launch of 4G services in eleven UK cities, EE commissioned Brendan to create a digital portrait for each city, formed from millions of bits of data as people talked and interacted about the biggest events of the day. Based on the same mathematics that create the head of a Sunflower, time explodes outwards from the centre with each point representing one minute giving a possible 4320 points – the number of minutes in three days – to cover the day before, during and after the launch of 4G. When first seeing this and having the process of this data being explained, it immediately grabbed my attention as I have a decent enough background of mathematic equations from taking maths and physics at A level. This got me thinking of how I may use current equations I know i.e. projectile motion, quantum mechanics, quadratic equations etc or even equations I’m I’ve not yet exposed myself to. This has great potential to create some great visuals as I can use this data within 3D max or Cinema 4D to formulate scale, positioning, rotation, colour etc. Depending on wether my data I collect is qualitative or quantitatively stronger, will make that decision of wether to further explore mathematic equations.

Joe Malia- creates interfaces for software and products

In 2006, he completed an MA in Interaction Design at the Royal College of Art. He went on to work on research and software projects for Nokia, KPMG, Sony Ericsson, Luckybite, Beta Tank, IDEO and Deutsche Bank, amongst others.

Berg is a design consultancy, working hands- on with companies to research and develop their technologies and strategy, primarily by finding opportunities in networks and physical things.

When listening to Joe I didn’t find his presentation as inspiring as Brendan’s, due to the fact that the work they do at Berg came across as what I perceived to be happy accidents. He did intact say that ‘not setting yourself a goal, beauty will unfold by exploring’. Even though I don’t totally agree with the methods of their workings, I do believe there is something to come from what he said about ‘exploring’. As previously mentioned my initial intentions were to create a poster image without even considering the vast potential tools and systems I could use to produce a final outcome. I do agree that with further exploration, you will become more aware of your own subject matter yourself, and be more aware of how to choose the appropriate process for that information. Furthermore, Joe emphasised that we should ‘not be bullied by the past… design things with your own process,’ which only backs up what Brendan said in his presentation, and how I need to explore/ create more tools to gain an accomplished design rather then using the generic tools given to us as designers.

Max Whitby- Founder and CEO of Touch Press

Books are one of the defining inventions of civilisation. Today publishing is being transformed by digital technologies. The aim of Touch Press is to create new kinds of books that re-invent the reading experience by offering information that is enhanced with rich media and that adapts dynamically to the interests and experience of the reader. Making possible the Touch Press vision are a team with diverse talents that include backgrounds in TV production, software development, print publishing and interactive design. Partnership with other organisations is at the heart of Touch Press’s publishing strategy. To date ten of the company’s iPad titles have been selected by Apple as Editor’s Choice or App of the Week on the iTunes App Stores in the US, UK and worldwide.

The presentation from Max i didn’t find directly helpful, however I did admire their commitment to develop ing their apps so that they were functional, suitable and able to interact within the iPad itself. The apps that he showed us e.g ‘The Liszt Sonata’ demonstrated clear navigation, interaction and easiness through great structure and thoughtfulness of the user. I think that this made me realise just how important it is to think about our target audience, as if we design just for our own needs it won’t become a success. Its important that when creating my data visual i don’t confuse, mislead or offend the audience.

Patrick Bergel- Creator of Chirp

He previously founded mobile search startup L6 Research, carried out research into sound control surfaces and ubiquitous computing systems, and has worked as a creative director for clients including Microsoft and Ray-Ban. Patrick is also an Honorary Research Associate at University College London, Dept. of Computer Science and an Associate Director of the New Radiophonics Workshop.

Chirp is a unique app that lets you share stuff like pictures or contacts using sound. Chirp uses special electronic birdsong to ‘chirp’ information to your friends so you can share pictures over the air.

Even though this app I can appreciate for its innovative sharing through sound, I don’t think this would be a vital process to for my project. Maybe if I was exploring sounds or picture directly then this would be very inspiring, however with my subject matter, sound doesn’t really come into relevance with the data. However I did come away with knowing the importance of incorporating interaction with the use. Images can easily be sent through iMessage, but using sound as a tool to send information makes the sending of an image more meaningful and beautiful. In turn, what I should be thinking about in terms of the audience is sharing the information with them, so thats it almost  enhances the data due to they its being presented.

Kate Moross- Designer, Illustrator, Art Director

Kate Moross is a designer, illustrator and art director based in London. Moross is also known for her typographic illustration. Her achievements include a nationwide billboard campaign for Cadburys, a signature clothing range for Topshop and illustrations for Vogue Magazine.

When listening to Kate, one particular message that I thought was interesting was that ‘you should get to know your software’. This contrasts with what Brendan and Joe said about not restricting yourself to tools made for designers and being bullied by the past. I think both sides would agree that there should be a balance between understanding and getting to know the basics of natural design tools, then expanding that further and exploring different ways of contracting design. In turn, I think for my project I do already have somewhat of a basic knowledge of Photoshop and Illustrator, and that I shouldn’t restrict myself to methods that I’m not familiar with i.e. 3D max, Cinema 4D, Modelling, Painting, Hand Craft, Wolfram Alpha etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drugged- High on Alcohol

This was a documentary showing the extremities of alcohol abuse. It followed a man who was reliant on alcohol, (averaged 3 pints of vodka a day) and showed his first attempt at recovery after ‘destroying’ his body.

When watching this it became apparent to me that a life choice of alcohol shouldn’t be judged by a passer by. Alcohol wasn’t a direct choice for this man, as his childhood had a massive role to play. Going back to the report about tackling ant-social drinkers, the general public labelled the abusive drinkers as ‘bad people’. I think theres a large misconception when it comes to alcohol abuse, as you never really no what someone has been through or why they are so reliant on alcohol. I think my data visual should reflect on how bad alcohol is and make sure its the alcohol problem were solving, and not how bad the people are who are abusing it. Il need to have a careful balance of the social problems and the health problems, to make suer the data visual doesn’t solely scrutinise one the abusers or the casual drinker.

Throughout this documentary, many terms were used to explain the health of the subject and the alcohol itslef. Most of the terminology used sounded to me as though it was a battle between the patient and the drink. All fully recorded however for the basis of this analysis, I picked out terms like defence mode, survival system, uncontrollable tremors, liquid poison, vomiting blood. As well as this, the descriptive words used only backs up my point about the body battling itself as the subjects body was described as shocked, malfunctioning, suffering, stunted, strangled and decimated. This only heightens my wanting to use war/rioting related imagery when designing my infographic, as i think alcohol has a close relationship with the effect of war. Moreover, the media I think show too much of the social problems with alcoholism, in the sense that the people who are abusing it are the problem to the general public. I think there is a need for the general public to gain an understanding of these people who are obviously suffering from a traumatic times.

As well as this, I picked up on the fact that the effects from alcohol abuse cause symptoms of schizophrenia. I do believe that there have been cases where soldiers would return from war, and develop symptoms of hallucinations and hearing voices. I think this could be a quite interesting if my knowledge serves me correctly, as it again brings a stronger bond to comparing alcohol with war but also gains a meaningful story.

Furthermore, the documentary stated that ‘Alcohol inhibits the skins ability to repair… stunted cells can’t grow fast enough to cover the wounds.’ I think again this could be a great play on imagery as there is the term ‘war wounds’, which is physical damage done to the body during a heavy night of drinking. As this term is used for the purposes of humour, I will have to play around with it so that it comes across shocking  as Ive intend my data to be.

 

Tackling UK’s anti-social drinking problem

This report from the BBC news had recognised that theres a problem occurring, in that local authorities are finding it hard to tackle the issues which anti-social drinking in public bring. One suggestion by the councillor of Colchester was to make a designated ‘Wet Zone’, which would home a small part of the city to the abusive drinkers.

The general public of Colchester when interviewed used terms to describe their feelings when encountering binge drinkers on the city streets were ‘uncomfortable, intimidated, apprehensive’. There was also the issue of litter being brought up as empty cans and beer bottles had been left around the city. However, the response from the binge drinkers seemed to disagree with the accusations and felt like they were ‘being picked on’ and that the people are simple just ‘labelling them as bad people’.

In my opinion I wouldn’t say the general public are just ‘picking’ on the binge drinkers. Coming face to face with someone who could potentially have little or no self control over their actions, simply creates a scenario in the mind for potential danger. These dangers that could come to mind are abuse, vandalism, thievery, rape etc. This again backs up the argument for relating abusive drinking to aspect of war/ rioting, which could also not only highlight the danger to the general public but also the abusive drinkers. As well as this, the point of litter being dropped, could in fact resemble debris left by the result of war or riot.

A councillor of Colchester was asked wether simply hiding antisocial drinkers in a small part of the town would solve the problem and should we concentrate on helping these people. In turn he replied ‘ theres no changing drinking behaviour, we’ve learnt over the years people simply won’t change’. I think this statement is quite rashional and had no real theory to back this up. I think people will potentially change their habits, if they are also informed of the social problems of alcohol rather than just the health risks solely. I think people these days are exposed to health risks too much, that we just forget the social consequences of drinking.

 

BBC Newsnight: Information Graphics analysis

The purpose of this documentary was to distinguish wether information graphics are just pretty images, or that they do truly get people to pay attention and retain information to gain a better understanding of the subject matter. After watching this video documentary, it gave me a deeper knowledge of how potentially powerful a tool data visualisation can be. However, I also came to understand the potential flaws of misleading the audience, through ‘beautifully’ designed aesthetics taking away the  significance of the actual data.

Through discussion between Brody and McCandless, Brody states that ‘the problem with making information pretty can sometimes hide the core message’. This made me think that this could be a dangerous tool for politicians or any big organisation to take advantage of . This could be achieved by gaining decisions of the audience in their favour, solely using the ‘prettiness’ of the design, hence being too beguiling. Without any real thought or desire for the actual information being presented within the visual, the audience have already made  their decision due to the enticement of the way the information has been expressed though charming appearances. This has led me to believe that there could be potential ethical issues when using data visualisation. The data visual should be presented well and look good, however shouldn’t allow for a  false representation of the data for the purpose of gaining missinterpeted opinions or votes. For my subject matter ‘the effects of alcohol’ I will have to make sure that the way I present certain aspects of data visually,  thats its doesn’t blind or falsely represent the data collected. I do want to shock people, however I think that theres an essential line that shouldn’t be crossed when exaggeration then becomes a lie.

In this documentary McCandless describes how his ‘Billion Dollar Gram’ came about. He claimed that this data visual ‘arose out of frustration’ from billion dollar amounts in the media and wanting to understand them. He then goes on to say that the media ‘report these amounts as though they are meaningful’ but explains that they’re not as the numbers have ‘no relationship with other numbers’. I think McCandless is right with what he’s saying, as a lone figure no matter how large or small has no desire to be acknowledged if not compared with any other amount. However, when he combines space, shape, colour code and other relative figures it soon becomes something rather powerful, and helps an audince gain an understanding of the amounts of money. However, I do feel that there is the argument that even though this particular infographic certainly tells a story and brings new perspective, it does take out other stories in that process. An example of this would be the Iraq predicted and eventual cost. An infographic does become what could be seen as something that only tells part of a story, and their is the risk that the audience won’t look further than that infographic. This could potentially cause hostile decision making, which in some other sensitive or high order subjects could be fatal to the way society progresses.

When watching the argument between Brody and McCandless, I thought that McCandless didn’t stand his ground enough when Brody was fireing disapproving comments. To me McCandless seemed to just sit there and take all criticisms from Brody about his works and infographics in general. If I was McCandless i would have argued how infographics are not just for decoration. Infographics are much more accessible then plain words and numbers, and that infographics can extract and ‘turn the fog of numbers into something rather more focused’. I think having the ability to make complex data more accessible to the world through data visualisation,  will help our society grow as it brings us together, gains more opinions and gives us chance to develop though more people having more knowledge.

McCandless during the one sided argument did raise an important point. He stated that ‘colour, space, shape are the language of the eye, words, numbers, language are the mind’. He then claimed that ‘combining the two, you are speaking two kinds of language and becomes a bit more powerful’. I think the use of combining what we see visually and what we read can only heighten our senses, which could only help aiding us to understand the data. When in the process of collecting data, I imagined that I may use war/rioting imagery as a metaphor for alcohol abuse. I think this will help engage the audience and help understand the severity of alcohol abuse. However, I must keep in mind that I don’t want to just create imagery that either takes away from the main message or creates a different message.