Moneytime – Data Visualization Project Proposal

1. The topic you are interested in for your final.
Personal finances. I am still pursuing a way to approach the topic in a different way from the existing apps.
I want to make a Chrome extension that will convert any money value from any web page to time value. For example, while navigating through the Amazon website, users would see values such as “5 hours”, “3 months,” “15 minutes” etc.

2. How you will research (find data, check its source, further investigation).
We* are still discussing how exactly this conversion will work. Our first idea was to make a simple (total income)/(total hours of work) calculation. Though simple and straightforward, this equation might not make sense for everyone. People we have been talking to have mentioned a different value for working time and leisure time, for instance.
Anyway, the extension will certainly ask users for some information before making any conversion. It also needs to connect to an online service to check exchange rates — to convert values between different currencies.

3. What is the story you are trying to tell? THIS MUST BE ONE SENTENCE ONLY.
How people can see the money they spend through a non-monetary perspective.

4. What kind of visualization you want to make (bar, pie, tree, etc.)
The final result doesn’t fit in any of these visual categories. Instead, the intention is to display the converted value as html text, using the same styling as the original monetary value. That is important to keep the visual consistency of the page.
Also, I think that “visualization” should refer to any device that helps people understand better a set of information. That can be achieved by means other than “visuals.”
In the case of this project, translating money to time is a way of making people “see” their spendings in a more insightful manner. This translation doesn’t have the intention of making people spend less, save more money, plan for the future etc — the usual goals of regular finance apps. Instead, it proposes a critical view on the topic that might be interpreted differently according to each individual’s relationship with his/her own money and time.


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