Infographics, Information Design, & Gestalt Principles – what it brings to the table

Recall and/or review the section “A Few Definitions” in the Design for Information Text’s Introduction. Then, compare the InfoDesignResource site (interactive) versus some standard infographics examples:

Prototype: Information Design Resource

Information design resource prototype: an introduction

30 Infographics about Infographics (Inspired Magazine, July 2012)

Infographic on Infographics

How to Create an Awesome Infographic (Mashable)

Rise of the Infographic

Rise of Infographics: Marketing in the Social-Media Age

Alice in Wonderland: An Illustrated Infographic Story   

For your blog post, write about and/or provide visual examples about the pros and cons. Which are easier/harder to generate? Which are easier/harder to view/comprehend as the intended audience?

 

Taking a moment to review the section “A Few Definitions” in Design for Information by Isabel Meirelles (pg. 11) I think I can finally understand Information Design more so than I did at the start of this class.  The graphic design community mostly uses two terms for visual displays of information: infographics and information design.  Infographics basically stand’s for visual displays in which graphics (maps, illustrations, symbols, diagrams, and so on) together with verbal language communicate information that would not be possible otherwise.  Information Design, on the other hand, is broadly used to describe communication design practices in which the main purpose is to inform, in contrast to persuasive approaches more commonly used in practices such as advertising.  (Meirelles, pg 11)

So, if I wanted to incorporate visually what I see both of these as I would see Infographics like this:

infographic

Or another way of looking at Infographics:

InfographicDesign

While Information Design would be similar, it isn’t.  Information Design entails this:

Elements-of-information-design-24x24

 

Overall they are the same concepts, though structured differently.  The way I see it one can’t work without the other.  Which leads me to the question which is easier/harder to generate and easier/harder to comprehend for its audience?  I have to say reading Gestalt Principles I found it rather usual for gathering data.  Their work consisted of primarily sensory perception.  The theory proposes that the perception of elements (examples: visual, musical, etc.) depends upon contextual and structural relations.  I think the concept of simplistic and showing adds to the ease of use when it comes to this principle.  Considering it is widely used and based on sensory perception it gives clear and precise data that can be easily incorporated with any type of visual (map, illustrations, etc.).

nathan_information_design

 

I think considering that both are so well integrated that it has become easier even through the years as we become more acclimated to technology.  Unless you are reborn or believe in reincarnation (which I believe or would like to believe), then I think most of us will only witness a sheer part of this new Information Design and Infographics.  It has evolved that I see it becoming much bigger in the future.

The cons could be information overload.  Either too much or not enough information.  In the long run, I think data has been manipulated and brought together in ways that have simplified what thousands upon thousands of printed paper once upon a time used.  Meirelles’s text explains in 6 chapters what each of these interactive structures brings to the table.  Trees that organizes the data in a way to better understand it.  Relational Structures that bring each network together to send and receive that data.  Temporal Structures that emphasize timelines and flow. Spatial Structures that gives us data in the forms of maps. Spatio-Temporal Structures that deal with changes across time and space but could also be closely similar to Temporal Structures.  And, finally, Textural Structures.  Each of these parts of Information Design come together and ultimately, I think, will take over the internet and most businesses outlook on advertising in the near and further out future.  That is, if we don’t, destroy our own planet.

Mark Smiciklas book states the brain is designed to seek out things that are different.  I have to agree.  If all we saw were words on a paper or whatever those words were on, I think we would lose that part of us that is very sensory: our eyes.  They say your eyes are the windows to your souls.  I think it’s more to the point that they are our souls, yes, but it’s much broader. They are part of our senses that help us see, envision, and create.  I know that some don’t have all of their senses, but those handicapped by this enhances their other senses allowing their brain to design differently and uniquely.  Perhaps helping their brain adapt to things even more so than those with all senses.  I think, making them extraordinary in this sense! This is how I understood Smiciklas’s first chapter.  Visual, Auditory, Read/Write, Kinesthetic.  Each of those based on the VARK model people use these learning styles to process information.  These are the fundamental skills that aid in the process that brings new meaning to what does interactive bring to the table.  Information that is given so we can design it to be interpreted in a way that will be best understood.  It is all up to interpretation and how that information/infographics design delivers.  It will definitely be interesting to see how it evolves.

References:

 

Meirelles, Isabel. Design for Information: An Introduction to the Histories, Theories, and Best Practices Behind Effective Information Visualizations. Rockport publishers, 2013. (pages 25 &189)

Smiciklas, Mark. “The Power of Infographics.” <i>Google Books</i>. QUE, n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2015. &lt;https://books.google.com/books?id=-rr84ltttj8C&amp;lpg=PP1&amp;ots=cNWJlk5jP8&amp;dq=infographics&amp;lr&amp;pg=PA3#v=onepage&amp;q=infographics&amp;f=true&gt;.

Infographics: LINK:https://infographiclist.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/infographic.png

Infographics Design: LINK:http://www.oasisgrafx.com/images/InfographicDesign.jpg

Elements of Information Design: LINK:http://lexiekatrina-infodesign.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Elements-of-information-design-24×24.jpg

InfoDesign: LINK:https://trawu.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/nathan_information_design.jpg

Isabel Meirelles LINK:http://nuweb.neu.edu/mmeirelles/infoDesignResource/

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Posted on November 23, 2015, in ESC, School and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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