Last month I launched a contest based around the theme of '#graphiti', inviting people to send in visualisation modified with their doodle-based daubings. The deserved winner, Chris Love, will receive a free copy of my book when it is released at the start of June.
Having really enjoyed running that contest I checked with my publishers to see if we could run two more before publication date and they were up for it! So, I've been away to my mountain retreat where, like Clark Kent in Batman vs. Superman, I had a vision. Unlike Clark Kent, my vision was not of Kevin Costner piling some wood for no conceivable reason, rather it was crystal clear conviction about what the premise of these last further contests would involve. Contest number three will be launched next month, but today I am ready to set contest two in motion: the theme is #BestWorstViz.
Best is an important characteristic in all that I do and strive for. In blog circles I am probably renowned in a very minor way for my monthly roundups of the best visualisation content each month. The objectives of my training, teaching and my writing is to impart the best process approach to giving people the best chance of creating the best visualisation work. My undergrad programme was in Operational Research which is often described as the 'Science of Better' (OK, maybe a poor relation to 'best' but you get the point).
For this contest I'm not interested in the best best, rather the best worst. It is not hard to find examples of bad visualisation, they really are to be seen everywhere. However, picking on bad visualisation involves work by other people who we might never meet or have a chance to learn about what the true circumstances and intent of a project were. The essence of this challenge is based on your best worst visualisation - the best worst visualisation you can possibly make.
You have freedom to create whatever you like, on whatever subject, using whatever data. It just has to be really really bad. This might mean incorporating ALL the worst practices or just one that is so efficiently brilliantly bad. It might be the ugliest possible design form or the most impenetrable functionality. It might offer the most spurious claim of causality or demonstrate the shoddiest of data treatments. It might already exist in your archives. It is entirely up to you. There is no boundary that can contain bad so be creative. The key thing is that it has to be your work, not some defenceless person's work emerging from a google search.
Send me your images on twitter (#BestWorstViz), via the comments below or on email. You can submit as many entries as you want. I'll leave the submission window open until midnight (PST) on Monday 18th April. I'll then pick my favourite worst entry and that person will be the beneficiary of a free copy of my upcoming book as soon as it is published.
For a bit of inspiration I noticed this appropriate little example from Alasdair Rae yesterday...
Good luck. May the worst be with you