Data Visualization Depicts What It Is Like To Fall In Love

Data Visualization Depicts What It Is Like To Fall In Love

When Sparks Fly shows one woman's recent dating history and the moment she found "the one."

Leah Gonzalez
  • 15 may 2014

Trying to find a love connection with someone is certainly not easy, whether it’s online or in the real world. Most of the time one has to meet a lot of people before finally finding that one person who’s on the same wavelength.

Multimedia reporter Lam Thuy Vo created a data visualization of her own recent dating adventures. She used color-coded circles representing text messages between herself and the men she met online to create a data visualization of her dating history.

Lam’s data visualization, When Sparks Fly, basically consist of a flurry of more than 1,300 little colored circles flying around the screen. Each color-coded circle represents a single text message between her and the six men she dated recently.

The data visualization starts off with a lot of green circles flying around the screen until an explosion of pink appears, representing the moment when she found the one guy she really liked. The little circles eventually settle down at the bottom of the screen and it becomes clear that she has found “the one” when the over 1,200 pink circles completely drown out all the others.


Lam’s explanation for her project is straightforward. She writes, “Ever felt like you really hit it off with someone? Well, here’s one way of looking at it: these are text messages exchanged with people I met online. Watch out for the one I actually liked.”

When Sparks Fly is a simple visualization, but it certainly succeeds at conveying the feeling of wading through the dating pool until you meet someone and hit it off with that person. In addition, Lam’s data visualization shows a different way of looking at how people can connect with each other online. It also proves that any set of data can be presented in an interesting and visual way.

Lam Thuy Vo is currently an interactive editor for Al Jazeera America. Prior to working for Al Jazeera, she was a multimedia producer for NPR’s Planet Money and is quite used to creating all sorts of visual presentations, including data visualizations, interactives, videos and photographs.

When Sparks Fly
[h/t]: Co.Design

+data visualization

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