Monday, April 28, 2014

why I disdain most infographics

Too many offenses to sensible data visualization to list. It's unfortunate, too, because there are some compelling stats lost in the cartoony graphics.

Gates Foundation Inventions
Source: MPHOnline.org

5 comments:

  1. The word "infographic" used to mean something different than that, as I explained here:

    http://www.thefunctionalart.com/2012/12/claiming-word-infographics-back.html

    We need to bring it back to its original meaning

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  2. I totally agree, Alberto! Thanks for linking to your post. Too commonly, people are referring to graphics like this one when they think of infographics.

    Also, I was reminded by your comment that you and I both pontificated on the future of infographics with related thoughts last year in this article: http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2013/06/future-visual-content-predictions-about-infographics/

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  3. Wow! Bill's tie has a lot of disease on it! :-)

    I agree with you two as well. Maybe we can find a way to re-purpose these into something useful. Similar to how CDs now make good drink coasters... j/k

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  4. Agree the Gates example is a poorly rendered imitation of a useful info graphic. What is with poor old Bill and gaudy graphics ?

    Whereas I cam across this last week which does brilliant job of rendering a very wide dataset into an instantly digestible graphic and does so with 'Tuftian' like restraint in the colour pallet which only enhances the communication
    http://hbrblogs.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/bainfographics_birthdates.jpg

    It's an example from this book (I have not read it yet)
    http://www.amazon.com/Best-American-Infographics-2013-Series/dp/0547973373

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  5. Cole, I'd like to assure you that none of the BMGF folks who attended your Seattle workshop had anything to do with creating this! In fact, I'm 99% sure it was created outside the foundation.

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