Using influences form Nick Felton and his Annual Reports one in particular is his 2010 Report which documents his world travel, the social tree needed to be structured in order to allow a user to follow directions via questions regarding Education, Socialising, Health and Online Use the desired result is a tracked line through the categories to the the eventual summarisation of the users social and “user type” and (later to add) a collection of the corporations which that “user type” will purchase products from.
The short animation bellow shows the construction of the Social Tree in its second attempt, you can see the first attempt here. The social tree uses social demographics supplied as free to the public samples by ACORN and CACI, developing a structure in order to make a social comment to this information was first conceived in rough form and then each Category and Type was printed on paper slips to be used in the construction.
The wealth of information needs to be structured in such a way that it can relate to each category in turn much like a family tree, each link will drill to another link which in tern shows its relationship and result. An evolution of the categories need to be clear in order for this social jamming piece to work. Stylistically the social tree is quite dull however in principle it does try to emulate a the style of Nick Felton and his Annual Report designs, bellow is the cover of his 2010 report. The lines trace his movement across the planet during the course of a year (well duh), its this style of tracing which the social tree is trying to emulate.
After the construction was completed it became far easier to design a more sophisticated graphic of the social tree. Using photographs as a reference, a tracking of lines between each question was simple enough in order to create a the graphic below (this again is just an experiment to the style of the design ‘nod to Nick Felton’).
This design, as great as it is, still needs developing to really look or resemble a Family Tree, purely because of the concept that ‘we’re all connected’ via the products in which we buy and need. Looking at Family Trees available to download for free and use personally it clear there are two main types, your leveled tier graph like structure and a more visually appealing fan/ tree like graph. The next development takes on the fan style for the Social Tree design.
More coming soon…