An Analysis of Infographics

Here I’d like introduce six infographics that I found on the internet. The first three are very good examples, infographics that are creative and done very well so they can help the viewer understand or learn something about a certain topic. The last three infographics are, in my opinion, failed attempts; they show how it should not be done.

 

I. Good Examples

Hellmann’s – It’s Time for Real

The video “Hellmann’s – It’s Time for Real” is an advertisement for EatRealEatLocal.com and very good Infographic on Canada’s import and export of food. It explains its target group, which is Canadian people, how much of their food is actually imported and appeals for looking for, asking for and buying more real Canadian food.

This is done very well, as the video, which shows objects in the real world (and often stopmotions of them moving), is supported by elements of images like graphs and arrows and also written text. The main part of explaining is done by a female voice that talks to the viewer. The image supports her statements and arguments at all time and makes them visual which allows the viewer to understand what she says very quickly. This makes the video very informative and convincing, as it doesn’t seem to be an advertisement but an informing video about Canadian food. The call for looking on their website in the end is received rather than an attempt to help than a kind of advertising.

 

The Evolution of the Web

evolutionoftheweb.png

“The Evolution of the Web” is a stunning interactive infographic on the history of the Internet. If you visit its website (link) you can explore this infographic for the information you seek. You can see on a timeline when which browser was developed and follow its line through the years until today or the date it disappeared. When you click on it, you can see how the browser looked like in what year.

Additionally, there are colorful lines for all the aspects that where introduced in the process of the developement of the internet, like html, cookies, java and so on. You can see when it was developed and when it was integrated on which browser. You also get some information on it in a little box, which also offers you to “read more” and leads you to the corresponding article on wikipedia.org if you click on it.

Furthermore, you can choose to look at the growth of the internet, which creates a new line over the slightly disappearing other graphs. And if you prefer looking at those graphs on a black background, there is even an option for that.

This infographic is really well done, as it gives everyone the option to explore it on their own needs and to concentrate on the facts of interest. Although it contains a lot of information and might look a bit chaotic on the first view, it is very structured and you can easily focus on just one of the many elements of the infographic.

 

Mountains Out of Molehills

mountainsoutofmolehills.gif

The infographic “Mountains Out of Molehills” also is a very good one. It is actually a bunch of colored graphs, but arranged to make it easier to see the several different graphs. Each graph stands for the fear of some topic in the media, that mostly were no actual dangers. The visualization is based on google trends and actually shows how often people searched for a certain topic on google.

I really like this infographic because it is, thanks to the colors, very easy to read and quite interesting, as you can see patterns and maxima you might remember yourself.

The interactive version of this infographic (found here) goes even further: you can select which graph interests you and if you click on it, you are redirected to the corresponding google trends site. Selecting only one or two graphs (by clicking on them in the caption) you can easily detect patterns or similarities. There is also an option to not show the fear but the actual deaths, which makes it interesting to compare what was a real danger and what fear was maybe only caused by the media.

It is an infographic you can play with to explore and detect new facts that you maybe couldn’t detect (or at least not that easy) without the visualization.

 

II. Bad Examples

Stange Cat Facts

strangecatfacts

This infographic about “Stange Cat Facts” is very hard to read. The light green background with the small white and big yellow writing on it makes it really exhausting and tiring. The creator of this infographic higlighted the most important parts of the “strange facts” by making them bigger and in a different color which is a good idea, but if you are lazy and decide not to read the little white writing they won’t really help you to understand what the fact is about.

The pictures that should help to understand the content don’t really work either, as only some of them fit to the content the text is about – most of the pictures seem to be quite random.All in all, the infographic looks very crowded and boring, as there is no logical structure and no pictures that assist the viewer. Actually it is text in boxes, with some color that makes it hard to read and some random cat pictures to make it look like an infographic. I would not want to read this, although strange cat facts might be funny.

 

The Google Story

“The Google Story” is a video about the history of Google. The idea is good, and if you look at it while pausing the video it looks quite nice, too.

However, if you watch it and try to follow, it gets very difficult to understand – it is much to fast, there are so many facts that are either hard to visualize nicely or that are visualized, but not explained. There is no one speaking and telling the most important facts and connections, but everything is explained via written text in a font that is sometimes hard to read.

As it is so fast, it is getting exhausting and stressful after just a few seconds. If you don’t already know a lot about Google and its history, this video won’t really help a lot.

 

Harry Potter Films

This infographic about Harry Potter movies is designed in yellow and red – the text and images are red, the background yellow. This might be a suitable color-combination for Harry Potter, but as there are no other colors and no “break” for the eyes throughout the whole infographic, it is getting a bit annoying.Also the pictures are quite random and don’t really help understanding the information quickly. It is a lot of information, but it might even be easier to read it in normal written text form than in some attempt of an infographic that just makes it look a bit chaotic.

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