Project 1 Sketch — Words Across Culture

by aburridg @ 12:35 am 20 January 2010

So, for Project 1, I have decided to collect information and display it in an interactive scatter-like graph. I chose to collect the data myself. So far, I have 66 results. I’m bribing people at the UC with cookies on Wednesday (3:30-5:30) to get some more from CMU. However, I am pleased to say that I used Mechanical Turk to obtain most of my results–so actually half of my participants came from outside the US, which is pretty cool.

Here is the survey, if you are interested in contributing 😉 :

The idea behind this project is (as said in the title) see how different cultures interpret the meanings of words (via color). I provide eight words, and have each participant pick one out of eight colors for each word that he/she thinks best describes the word. Then, I have them briefly explain why they chose the colors.

First, I included “obvious” words, like Anger (which, as expected most people described as red) and Jealousy (which most people from the US and European countries described as Green). And, then I included some tricky words such as Happiness and Confidence.

Here is a prototype. For some reason, adobe reader is not happy with the font. So, here’s what the words say:

On the Y-axis, from top to bottom: Anger, Sadness, Jealousy, Happiness, Fear, Confidence, Beauty, Truth.
On the X-axis, from left to right: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Black, White

This graph is a prototype, but it basically shows how my final project’s graph will look (without the interactive-ness). The data used in the prototype are 20 participants from Mechanical Turk.

On the final, you will be able to select a filter (on the top right–you can filter gender, age range, and country of origin), and the graph will morph into another graph with the new filter settings. There will also be a random comment displayed from participants depending on which filter is set (I denoted where the comments will be displayed in the prototype).

I guess the issue I’m running into is whether or not people will be able to understand the data. The graph with the pretty circles and font looks really nice, but I’m wondering if people will be able to understand it. Any comments are appreciated! 🙂

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