Conventional Data Info is Boring. Make Way for the Infographic

Posted on Thursday, January 20th, 2011 by

The digital age has brought us numerous life-enhancing benefits. Some of the most obvious include super fast communication regardless of geographic location, social networks and virtual communities, and online shopping, just to name a few. But in terms of information consumption, there’s an interesting shift worth noting. I am referring to the infographic, the visually pleasing crossbreed between information and graphics that makes complex concepts, statistics and processes much easier to digest when compared to plain text-and-number info. Here at All My Faves we’ve already featured a few infographic sources, and we also have a special Infographics Mini Faves page for it.

So what makes infographics so different from charts and graphs, you might ask. These, too, serve as visual aids that facilitate data analysis and comprehension, right? Well, as Cool Infographics creator and Inforgraphic Designer Randy Krum explains, “Charts and graphs can communicate data; infographics turn data into information.”  The bottom line characteristic of infographics distinguishing it from conventional data information is this: readers of infographics not merely acknowledge changes of statistics and data; they get the bigger picture fast and understand why these changes occurred in the first place.

Let’s dive right into the visuals and you will see why inforgraphics are making a steadfast appearance all over the Web (not to mention in major news websites and newspapers’ printed editions such as the NY Times). The first example is “The 10 Most Expensive Cities to Live In 2010” infographic by the Australian brokerage company, HomeLoanFinder.

Top 10 Most Expensive Cities to Live in 2010

Another great infographic example is this one below, showing the Rise of Walking and Biking, from 1990 to 2009 (source: Department of Transportation, appeared in GOOD Magazine, Jun 24, 2010). Click the image to launch the interactive infographic.

This third one is a knock-out, both in terms of aesthetics and functionality. Created by the talented team over at Information is Beautiful, Visualizing Bloodtests is the ultimate data-into-info example, and there’s no wonder why this visualization scored the 1st place in Wired Mag’s re-envisioning medical data design competition.

A standard bloodtest data document. Almost impossible to fully comprehend what’s going on there. and this is crucial to someones’ life!

Now see the magic of infographics (thanks to Information is Beautiful), turning the uncomprehensible document from above to an easy to digest content:

To wrap things up, see this interesting video talking about the use of infographics in the New York Times (via GestaltenTV).

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