Pretty & Different ≠ Intuitive

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I like the idea of representing data sets in new ways. Particularly data sets where the relationships between entities are valuable. Because of this, and indeed the way it’s been rendered, I rather like Planetary by Bloom. However, in this rather fawning piece by John Pavlus on Fast Company, it’s astronomy-inspired interface is described variously as ‘intuitive’, ‘divinely ordered’ and with ‘human-friendly affordances’.

Forgive me, but didn’t it take humankind a rather long time to understand the causal relationships in the solar system to be understood? I wouldn’t necessarily say that we users would instinctively ‘get’ the metaphors used in Bloom’s work although we would appreciate them once shown. I think it takes some leap to suggest that there is more intuitive understanding of music data in seeing it in this new format than there would be in, say, a hierarchical list of artists, albums and tracks.

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