Four Ways to Visualize Daily Media Usage

My Roles Designer
Research Process Data Collection
Visual Exploration
Tools Excel / Illustrator
SketchUp / Indesign

The purpose of this project is to use four different ways to visualize daily media usage. My first step was data collection. I collected all of the time I spent on mobile and computer on a continuous week by using Moment, a screen time track plugin on my phone, and Rescuetime, a time management Chrome plugin. Then, I grouped and analyzed the data by categories in Excel. I divided the time I spent on my computer into software, including all kinds of software I used mainly for working, and internet browsing, which I separated into film + video, fashion, and music.

I separated my mobile media usage into three main categories including personal daily routine, social media and others. The personal daily routine is for those apps that I do not necessarily spend a lot of time using, but I get used to opening every day like Google Maps. Social media apps have become an essential part of my daily life. Others categories cover car-sharing app and home and lock screen.

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Then I moved to explore four different visualization strategies. Since the data sample for this project is so small, after I had a quick understanding of the data in Excel, I focused on how to represent the data and explore the stories behind data creatively.
The first way I visualize is diagramming time through modular volumes and space. Each square represents one minute. One can imagine that 24 hours is a large garden, and I spend different amounts of time in different sections each day because of different habits and preferences.

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The second way to visualize is to compare the three apps that take the longest time each day and then compare it to the average time I spend on my phone per pickup to see if they have any correlation. The result is that since I always used to chat with family in Wechat when I took a subway to commute every day, it is always in my Top 3 apps at number one. And there is no apparent correlation between the average time spent on the phone per pickup and the top three apps.

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The third way to visualize is to imagine the time of using my mobile phone every day as an individual building. The height of the building is determined by the number of pickups and the length of the building is determined by the time spent on the phone. The buildings for each week will follow their own street. And streets will eventually form a unique virtual city pattern based on media usage.

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The fourth way to visualize is to break up each day into ten-minute blocks, color-coding each block for the activity I do with that time. This allows me to compare the time I am not on media vs time on media between weekdays and non-working days.

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