Posts Tagged ‘information’

I’m no good at drawing. But, as with other things, I’m learning not to mind that, which helped me in my latest project at work.

I’m also a big fan of Infographics. If you’re not familiar with this way of conveying information, you’re in for a treat! I think they make things understandable, simple, fun and memorable. Things that are always important when you’re trying to get your information across.

At my work at InTAAL, we’re making a new product. I always start with a product vision (what should it do, what do we take into account, what’s our opinion on how it should work and for whom, what’s the basic idea that will make it different from similar products, etc. Don’t worry, I probably will do a blog post on design visions someday.) I could not get into the flow and started making my own design vision infographic. It’s not very slick, but I had fun doing it and it felt very useful. Now we have something to point at, something to keep in our minds while designing the product and something that we can communicate to other people. I’m pretty happy with the result. Tell me what you think!

An infographic is basically one huge poster. The difference with a poster is, that it actually has more than only an invitation. It strives to contain all the information you need on one subject. It makes use of all the graphical trickery you can imagine, which help you understand the information better.

The trick of making a good infographic is to use your space and also very much the size of the things you put on it. Things that need to be noticed first have to be HUGE (such as the subject of the infographic). Things like explanations or further details can be small. Futhermore, you can go wild on all the other graphical tricks you can find, like flow diagrams, maps and icons. There are a lot of pictures and drawings in there, since we are all convinced that a pictures says more than a thousand words. It’s a big challenge to put everything you want to say on one sheet of paper, but it’s a good (although very different) process of organizing data. It also allows you to put more information in there than you’d initially think possible. Some people are very creative when it comes down to presenting information visually, which goes from the flag of the United States turning into a stock market graph to the height of buildings indicating how many people live in a city (just google on infographic images and you’ll find more examples).

I think these are so great because making one forces you to think about the levels of information you have. It forces you to be concise (something I have to practice) and play with your information. You guide your reader through all the different levels you provide them and if you did it well, you just made your reader a discovery through the subject of the infographic. It makes learning about things fun. It makes writing about things fun. The creativity part is undeniable. And they just simply look better than a bunch of words sitting in a Word-document (no matter how well written and how well organized the document is).

Here are some great examples of infographics that I came across:

infographic User Centred Design (a must see for all of you who want to know what I do for a living and what my company will be all about! And a very good infographic which makes use of all its benefits)

infographic about a hangover (make it smaller by hitting Ctrl + – for a couple of times and notice the different levels you see. First you notice the guy and the title, then you might notice the arrows and then you might start reading letters)

Inception infographic (it can be about anything!)

infographic about smoking (amazing how much information you can put in one of these things!)

infographic about cheap and good wines (I like the way they make the subject clear immediately. The reader does not have to do any effort to understand it’s about wine.)

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