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Playing with explorable explanations

I threw together this little project over the weekend to practice my javascript skills and explore Bret Victor’s Tangle, a javascript library for creating explorable explanations. I still have lots more to learn, but Tangle is really easy to get started with and I’d love to explore the possibilities of explorable explanations in more depth. When I get a chance, I’ll write up a step-by-step guide explaining how I built this.

Victor develops the ideas behind Tangle in his essay Explorable Explanations and provides his own extensive example of the library in use with Ten Brighter Ideas.

This concept has real potential. Being able to play with the different data points reinforces your understanding of the subject. In Bret Victor’s aforementioned essay, he discusses how this approach could work well with explanations of policy alternatives. And in an organizational context, you could present business cases or proposals as explorable documents so decision makers could really understand the data underlying their decisions.