For a recent article in CW magazine I interviewed Alberto Cairo of who teaches at the University of Miami, FL.
One of the questions I asked him was if infographics was being over-used today. His answer was an unconditional yes! Tons of substandard projects, in fact.
There are “dozens of dubious graphics and “infoposters” that were not designed as tools to aid cognition and understanding,” he said. The problem? People think that by just compressing numbers side by side with ‘cute illustrations’ they could come up with an infographic.
If you like to read more about from Cairo, who’s the director for infographics and multimedia, here’s a link to my article. He’s also got a great blog, a companion to his upcoming book, Functional Art.
He refers to my interview with him in a post, A conversation on marketing, PR and infographics. He makes a great point there. That all this massaging of information is not bringing out the clarity we need. Especially when infographics are being “designed to attract eyeballs with bells-and-whistles.” In my interview he put it another way. “Infographics’ first goal is not to be cool, but to be understandable, readable, useful, and deep.”
I just came across one of these bells-and-whistles infographics. It is on the Kony 2012. I’m not sure what the purpose is and how it really helps us to know how the Kony interest stacks up with other, trivial YouTube videos. Here’s the link to that.
Compare that to this, below, posted by Cairo. It’s a work in progress, by students at a workshop. But you get the drift.