Nigerian Royalty.

I get a lot of email at work.

I'm on eleven team distribution lists, I run our UI community of practice, I get a slew of automated garbage, and that doesn't include emails actually sent to me.

Back in March, I received one email that read, in part:

Reading back on it now, it seems totally innocuous.  But for whatever reason, at the time, all I could think was that this was some elaborate 419 scam, and that I was a few responses away from being introduced to Nigerian royalty.  Either that, or someone had found a whole slew of Orbitz UIEs on LinkedIn, and spammed the pile.

But I asked around, and nobody else at the company had received the same email. The suspicion mounted.

A few days passed, and I decided to respond to the email, but being a master sleuth, I asked the sender to set up a time to call me.

He did.

A week later, I was sitting in a conference room, dialing a real phone number that connected to a real phone with this real person at the other end.  As it had turned out, the company reaching out puts on a whole slew of conferences, and at a previous one, had given out a questionnaire asking: "Who would you like to see speak at a future conference?" to which someone had responded: "Someone from Orbitz."

"Someone from Orbitz," for reasons I still don't quite understand, filtered down to Bill "Hi, I'm someone from Orbitz" Hinderman.

Here's the one problem.  Apart from The Cocktail, I don't really know a ton about Data Visualization.  My mind immediately went to the work I am starting with our Site Optimization group to distill huge portions of our web traffic for A:B testing.

For a while, I noodled on that idea, and kept feeling like I was taking the easy route.

I didn't want to fly to Boston to just talk about my job.  I wanted to be a voice for change.

I grabbed two sheets of printer paper and labeled them as:

On the former, I began writing down all the topics I could think of, related to the data visualization space.  On the latter, I spewed out all the topics in web design that I had a passion for.  Once I was finished, I began making phrases by picking one idea from each page.

My goals here were the following:

After a hilariously short amount of time, I had found something that hit all three points:

Responsive Data Visualization

In essence: how can responsive web design inform data visualization as we move to a multi-device internet?  RWD has change the way we think of our content's containers, but we're still skipping the problem of cramming too much data into a container that just doesn't scale.

So that's where we are.  I care about it.  Virtually nothing has been written on the subject.  And (because of the last sentence), I'm learning as I create.

See you in September, Boston.