Audiorders: The Sonification of On-Demand — Demand

February 3, 2020

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Audiorders: The Sonification of On-Demand — Demand

Audiorders: The Sonification of On-Demand — Density

Audiorders: The Sonification of On-Demand — Trends

From the time Postmates was founded in 2011 to today we’ve seen millions of orders from all sorts of customers.

We’ve looked at the data, graphs, and charts over and over, but the more we look at them, the less impact they have (graphs are boring). They don’t really show the kind of growth we as a company have experienced. So we turned our data into music.

As a continuation of our Sonification project, the next four videos dive into demand from different locations and items, and how those have changed during the history of Postmates.


Episode 5: Growth

This next piece of music and animation shows our growth from 2011 to the present date. Each new note represents the moment we hit a milestone in total orders. The volume is controlled by the number of weekly deliveries. Listen to the differences between 1,000,000 deliveries and 100,000,000 deliveries.

Episode 6: LA vs NY

Here we’re showing differences in deliveries throughout a week by comparing two of our biggest markets, Los Angeles and New York. Each day of the week is separated by a different note being played, while volume is determined by the number of orders being placed. For the best experience, listen with headphones. Los Angeles will be in your left ear, New York in your right ear.

Episode 7: Regions

This video compares the popularity of Postmates in four different regions of America: Southern California, The West, Central America / The South, and East Coast. Audibly, Southern California is represented as the violin, The West as the voila, Central America & The South as the cello, and the East Coast as the bass. The severity of the note being struck is controlled by the average price paid during deliveries.

Episode 8: Stereo Location

The next video is extremely unique and quite honestly, a bit difficult to explain. Here goes. We’re showcasing the area in America in which orders are being placed through the span of a week, via both an audio and visual experience. The average longitude of deliveries determines the stereo pan, the average amount spent determines the pitch, and the number of deliveries determines the volume. For this reason, it is best listened to with headphones.

When we pulled the data for this portion of the sonification project, we had just completed our 100,000,000th delivery. Since then, we’ve grown to deliver all over the country. We’ve built new systems, like group delivery options, and ordering with emojis, and catapulted ourselves into the future of on-demand.

None of this would have been possible without Product Analyst Lead, Alex Orellana. Alex spearheaded this project, providing us with the perfect balance of science and art.

“I wanted to find a way to take a step back and really highlight just how human our data really is.”

For a deeper dive into the inner workings of this project directly from Alex himself, please see the links below:

Demand — Growth

Demand — Regions

Demand — Stereo Location

Demand — LA vs NY


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Density — Market Drum Machine

After making the atonal cacophony that was the Regions piece [link to it], I decided to try to set things up in a way that would result in something a bit more accessible. An electronic drum kit seemed like a pretty good place to start.

February 3, 2020