Friday, December 07, 2007

Being and Doing (Part II)

Continuation of infographic design ...

"Infographic design: a framework

There are 3 major challenges in designing a successful infographic.

1. To clearly understand what type of information it is trying to communicate – whether spatial, chronological, quantitative or, as is usually the case, a combination of all three.

2. To conceive a suitable representation for that information as a cohesive whole – a whole that is more than the sum of its constituent parts such as, charts, diagrams, maps, timelines etc.

3. To choose an appropriate medium for presentation – static (paper or computer screen), motion (animation or video), or interactive (increasingly web or other electronic device-based, but could be something as simple as a paper-based pregnancy wheel).

Despite the difficulty in creating a design framework, it would be useful to have one, in order to understand the overall picture of the infographic design process. The following diagram (Table 1) depicts one such a framework:

Infographic design: nine strategies

In the last section, we understood where and how an infographic fits into the overall scheme of the information design process. In this section, let’s glean some design strategies by analyzing some successful infographics.

1. ORGANIZE: Organizing the available information and coming up with a plan for presenting it is the first and probably the most difficult stage in designing any infographic. The train accident infographic (Figure 18) explains the collision of two trains triggered by an automobile veering off a nearby highway.

The key to reconstructing an event like this is to establish the role of geography, the cause, the chronological sequence, and the facts of the objects involved. All of these pieces of information have to be organized effectively with right amount of detail and emphasis to make sure the viewer experiences the incident as an authentic whole.

2. MAKE VISIBLE: It is the essential quality for an infographic. The fishermen of Marshall Islands have for centuries used maps (Figure 19) made using shells tied together by bamboo sticks, to visually represent the distance between the various islands, their locations with respect to each other, and the direction of currents."    (Continued via uiGarden.net)    [Usability Resources]

Shell Map - Usability, User Interface Design

Shell Map

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