What is this?

Everyone Has A Name lets you understand trends in American baby names. It's the fastest, funnest, and most interesting way to find names on the entire planet.

Who made this?

Jeff Weir (jeff at windowseat dot ca). I'm a user experience designer who likes designing and building things.

If you like Everyone Has A Name, you might like my other projects: Viscosity modern art generator, Circles are Awesome, and The Collective Type Project.

Why was this made?

Because everyone has a name, but not a great way to visualize it. When visualized properly, seemingly mundane data (like baby names) can reveal a wealth of interesting hidden stories and insights.

And just as everyone has a name, every name has a story of emergence, growth, and decline. These stories are influenced by our popular culture icons, heroes, and villians. Some names are as old as the bible, while others were created yesterday. By understanding the history of our names, we better understand our culture.

I also wanted to see if I could make a site about baby names interesting to people with no interest in babies.

How long did it take?

What you see took 11 months working evenings and weekends, but the entire project took 3 years.

I started in 2009, but kept getting distracted by other things. And then I had to reset the project once I switched to ActionScript 3. Then I had to gain some self discipline to see it through to the end. That's when I learned the last 10% takes as long as the first 90%.

By the time I was 95% done it made sense build it in HTML5. But I couldn't bear to reset the project and learn another programming language again.