Using Adobe Illustrator in the Study of Digital Communication Habits | Webster University

Using Adobe Illustrator in the Study of Digital Communication Habits

Class documents and visualizes digital data usage in creative ways

ST. LOUIS (October 26, 2018) – What insight can we glean from studying our communication history?  Have digital technologies enhanced or stunted interpersonal communication? How do our communication habits affect our emotional states?  These are the questions that students in associate professor of interactive media Julia Griffey’s information architecture course explored by keeping a communication diary, categorizing the information and using Adobe Illustrator to visualize their results.   

For 72 hours, students kept a record of all of their digital communication including cell phone use, texting, email, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, online gaming, etc. All instances of communication were recorded. This content became the data students used to complete the assignment. Each burst of communication was recorded along with relevant information that students deemed important, such as who they were communicating with, how they were communicating, etc., as well as more subjective attributes such as how they felt while they were communicating.

While every student used Adobe Illustrator to compile their results, each student took a different approach. Many took advantage of the various Adobe Illustrator graphing tools such as the bar chart, pie chart and the scatter plot tools and in some cases, used combinations of them to create unique results. As students created their final visualizations of the data, emphasis was placed on the communication value of the piece; what did the data tell about the creator’s communication habits as well as about the person him or herself.

Here are three examples of the results:

Adobe Initiative Project Three

Adobe Initiative Project Two

Adobe Initiative Project One