TrackStack mockup help request

conseo 4consensus at
Mon Oct 3 23:59:35 EDT 2011

Hey Alex and Mike,

I have tried to digest your feedback and will try to summarize in a few 
points. Alex, I value your feedback, but it takes me a lot of time to read 
several mails, esp. when parts are repetitive. Please don't get me wrong! I 
just don't want to lose too much time in discussion as it pulls me away from 
work heavily and sucks up all my concentration. Sorry!

a) Avatars


First of all I have thought again about avatars. The one valid point/scenario 
your arguments have imo, is that users will use our tools in a flow with other 
forums and media, so avatars would allow a quick recognition of peers. The 
problem is still, that this does not fit our Ui, and it does not fit our Ui, 
because it does not fit what we try to visualize. While you insist that people 
from Facebook or other platforms focusing on individual profiling and 
communication with friends might have a problem, I say: We visualize not 
individuals but consent. It is central to give an understanding of that, 
nothing else. This might sound harsh. If our Ui is going to visualize all 
relevant peers in 120x150 (typical forum size avatar), then nobody will 
recognize anything (Just imagine the Votespace Ui with only 20 
endcandiates...). The mnemonics, while being boring, only take 20x29 px in our 
Ui (in my browser) and clutter nothing. If you can come up with avatars in 
that size, that are still meaningful and not only visiglyphs (which btw. are 
less informative than mnemonics) and more cluttering, than there would at 
least be a solution. You think you know users, but to turn your own very valid 
arguments about Ui design against you, we don't know our users yet and you 
don't either. We need people to use the tools, then we can decide what we can 
show in the hover widgets or how to redesign the tools. But people need to be 
interested in consent not in social network buzz, if they aren't then we have 
nothing to offer (we don't even deploy a discussion medium). An avatar is 
possible on mouse-hover, if it helps Crossforum browsing. I also would like to 
know, if you insist that this is design priority for you, which problem it 
exactly solves? We could allow coloring in mnemonics and peers could use it in 
their forums as well (maybe as an emblem on their avatar), but I don't know if 
this works at all and users would really use it. If you want avatars, bring us 
alpha users (political/... activists), who then prove you right :-p Let's 
first get the new concepts of our Ui worked out, before we get into visual 
details. So...

b) The TrackStack

I have added version 2c (1). It uses a thermometer visual. I don't see how I 
can visualize progress in there, except overlaying arrows. No mnemonics and no 
colors, but target and sum are more distinct now. The segments of the 
thermometer showing the contribution of one of the voters, can have a hover 
box showing their contribution and maybe any other information for that 
pledge. We can also highlight a segment on voter selection. But the collective 
aspect which was in their through the rainbow colors (so they had information, 
just not for each segment), is now gone. Does this still visualize the 
collective effort? I feel uncomfortable with it... looks a bit boring.

c) Literature

Thanks for the article Alex and the book recommendation Michael. I will read 
the book next.


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