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  • Writer's pictureGabriella Garcia

QuantHumanists week 3: feeding the mood data app recursively

This week we were assigned to create a visualization platform for personal data collection. In a deep recursive twist, the process of creating this full-stack app informed the data I would end up inputing. I'm coming to the end of this assignment fully flattened and defeated, though trying to recognize the learning process as a lesson in and of itself despite my catastrophic attempt to get this done.

I think there were a few crossed wires when the assignment was first communicated to us, and I found myself among a handful of classmates who launched into the process misunderstanding the necessary tasks at hand. I spent a good deal of time working through the thorough step-by-step tutorial to set up the full-stack app, not realizing that it would only be necessary if we wanted to create the app from scratch. It was helpful to go through the process for future understanding, but because of my misunderstanding I got stuck when I created a new directory to work in while believing that this was a step toward tweaking the template originally provided by Joey. It put me on hold for a couple days until a little group help session with Joey, during which I realized my mistake. Set on a new and much more simple path of working within the template, I began sketching out my ideas of what a personally useful data app could look like.

Design Prototype

I created the prototype above in Illustrator, which gets a basic feel for the type of data I was hoping to log and the way I was hoping to visualize it. The background would be determined by checking a choice of four types of weather (Sunny, Rainy, Cloudy, or Snow), with four categories of "feelings" visualized by cups filled (or overflowing in cases of extreme experience) with colors representing those feelings. I like the idea of correlating "feelings" with cups, as I make a connection with the Cups suit in the minor arcana of the tarot deck, which represents the "heart brain" so to speak.

I went with the four general feelings I can reliably measure, and in creating the app I'd hope to see how the different "volumes" in addition to the weather correlate with each other. The final piece was adding a string input for my daily gratitude practice, which would ask for my "favorite" gratitude of the day.

Major Roadblock

I guess I broke Feathers yesterday? Or I'm not really sure. I was working on adding my own properties to Joey's template, starting with weather. I got the input field to work with four check boxes (modeled after the "fitness" bool provided by Joey) and felt super successful! Joey also had help me add a gratitude string input during the group help session, and I was excited to figure out how to translate it into visuals. I also changed the input names of the "number" slider inputs to the feelings I wanted to track, and all seemed well. I kept a few of the original input fields so I could sort of tweak my new input fields in accordance to what was already there.

I hit my roadblock when I started testing my new inputs, starting with the weather. I slashed out the "fitness" bool supplied in the template to see if I could change background color based on the weather chosen by me....

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