The federal budget is a hot topic these days. Our national debt is being called a "ticking time bomb," a "national disaster," and "a cancer that will destroy our country from within." But despite all of the media coverage, how much do you really know about it? Most studies show that the general public has a poor understanding of where all the money goes and comes from.
Visual Budget is a cutting-edge data-visualization web site. It explains all the complicated ins and outs of the US Federal Budget using interactive charts and motion graphics. It is a tool that lets citizens like you and me understand this important issue, armed with the latest most comprehensive facts and figures. It brings a new breadth of knowledge to our political discourse and helps us share our opinions with artistic power. And most importantly, with Visual Budget, we can push our politicians to act and make a real difference.
A Prototype for a Bigger Website Project
We are raising funds on Kickstarter so that we can build an interactive prototype of the Visual Budget software. The prototype will be essential for us to raise additional money from philanthropies and foundations to fund the complete website. Why a prototype first? Visual Budget’s method of presenting data requires motion and animation to have its full effect, and this is difficult to convey in still-frame mock-ups and storyboards. We want to inspire potential donors by setting things in motion complete with voiceover and interactivity. And we can’t afford to do this without your help.
We will be using these Kickstarter funds to produce and demonstrate:
- Polished Designs/ of charts and pages
- Visual Effects/ that make charts come to life on screen
- Animated Transitions/ between charts with related information
- Interactivity/ demonstrating how users will interact with the site
- Presentations & Voice-over/ unveiling complex charts in digestible pieces
Enlightening charts that move people
Visual Budget tells important stories about the Federal Budget’s data — stories that actually matter to our lives but are often glossed over by popular news media for fear that viewers will change the channel. From a basic breakdown of taxing and spending to a detailed look at the future costs of Social Security and Medicare, Visual Budget digs deep into the data that should guide our country’s policy and helps everyone to understand these issues in plain terms. And we don’t leave you alone in a sea of data; Visual Budget is guided by a voice-over host who helps make sense of it all, even when the issues get complex.
Our prototype will answer three important questions:
- Where does my tax money go?
- Who pays what in income tax?
- How is the budget deficit paid for?
- And the final website will answer these and many more.
Inspired by Motion Graphics, Powered by Open Data
A lot of the budgetary information that will drive Visual Budget is already “out there” in public databases, but it isn’t enough to have raw information merely accessible by the public. We need tools to gather the data and give it meaning and context. Doing so requires a unique combination of skills and talent - artistic and technical.
We are inspired by great communications arts. Motion Graphics and Infographics get us excited about sharing information in a highly artistic way. Here are some examples of our inspirations, which will motivate the way we design and animate:
The Gettysburg Address by Adam Gault and Stephanie Augustine
Against Dumb by Gareth O’Brien and Yker Moreno
Trusted Computing by Benjamin Stephan and Lutz Vogel
Our Bombs - Motion Graphics by Neil Halloran and Eric Hochhalter
The Faces Behind Visual Budget
- (45 days)