Infographics for Sustainability: A Love/Hate Relationship
I LOVE a good infographic. A good infographic (let’s call it ‘an infographic’ for short) adds value to data by presenting it in an easily digestible and engaging form. The graphic above from skepticalscience.com, demonstrates the difference between the scientific view on climate change and that of the general public (although the colour key is missing for some reason). But, even for the most numerate, the graphic illustrates the point much more strongly than the numbers.
I HATE false infographics. Take this one by Volvo (click to enlarge). It consists of numbers and statements, put into a quirky format and with some broadly relevant clipart scattered over it. You could argue that the layout and images distract rather than add to the information (and patronise the reader), but at best they merely decorate it.
There is no doubt that infographics, if done properly, can add hugely to our communication of sustainability issues. But that’s a big ‘if’. If it doesn’t add value, go back to the drawing board.