Visualizing Algorithms

Mike Bostock adapted his talk on visualizing algorithms from Eyeo 2014 for the web. He writes:

Algorithms are a fascinating use case for visualization. To visualize an algorithm, we don’t merely fit data to a chart; there is no primary dataset. Instead there are logical rules that describe behavior. This may be why algorithm visualizations are so unusual, as designers experiment with novel forms to better communicate. This is reason enough to study them.

But algorithms are also a reminder that visualization is more than a tool for finding patterns in data. Visualization leverages the human visual system to augment human intellect: we can use it to better understand these important abstract processes, and perhaps other things, too.

I’m also reminded of a video I came across some time ago, visualizing the inner workings of 15 different sorting algorithms:

A Better Place on Twitter

A Better Place is a positivity filter bubble. It uses terrible sentiment analysis to strip out negative Twitter posts from your timeline; hopefully leaving you with a few morsels that make your day tolerable.

A pleasant response to those Facebook mood experiments.

“Her pitch was pretty genius. She would go to chapters of her sorority, do her presentation, and have all the girls at the meetings install the app. Then she’d go to the corresponding brother fraternity—they’d open the app and see all these cute girls they knew.” Tinder had fewer than 5,000 users before Wolfe made her trip, Munoz says; when she returned, there were some 15,000.

The Truth About Tinder and Women Is Even Worse Than You Think – Businessweek.


Lionel Messi is impossibly good

Even though Argentina won’t be playing until tomorrow, with the quarter finals starting today it seems a fitting moment to post this: Benjamin Morris took a very extensive look at how Lionel Messi compares to other contemporary soccer players and concludes that it’s impossible how good he is:

It’s not possible to shoot more efficiently from outside the penalty area than many players shoot inside it. It’s not possible to lead the world in weak-kick goals and long-range goals. It’s not possible to score on unassisted plays as well as the best players in the world score on assisted ones. It’s not possible to lead the world’s forwards both in taking on defenders and in dishing the ball to others. And it’s certainly not possible to do most of these things by insanely wide margins.

But Messi does all of this and more.

Chock full of detailed analysis to make the case.

Messi also rarely dives:

Now imagine that being Robben instead of Messi in the video :P


Dear Marc Andreessen

[W]e don’t need to wait until a hypercapitalist techno-utopia emerges to do right by our struggling neighbors. We could make the choice to pay for universal health care, higher education, and a basic income tomorrow. Instead, you’re kicking the can down the road and hoping the can will turn into a robot with a market solution.

Alex Payne in response to Marc Andreessen.

Watch Dogs Graphic Direction

Alexander Karpazis recently posted samples of his UI design work for Ubisoft blockbuster game Watch Dogs on Behance. It’s interesting to see how this design work relates to both the user interface of the game itself (menus, HUD, etc.), as well as the user interfaces inside the game world.