Thursday, May 26, 2016

That time when I made readers click 50 times in an infographic

Robert Kosara has written a nice rant (don't miss the comments) against scrollytelling in visualization. He's an advocate for steppers, those graphics that divide the information into sequential screens which can be navigated through numbered or labeled buttons.

During a conversation on Twitter, Knight Foundation's Shazna Resna said that she likes scrolling when using a mobile device and step-by-step graphics when on a computer. I agree with that, but we're moving toward a mobile-first world —if we're not there already,— aren't we? And scrollable visualizations can be done really well; here's some advice from Mike Bostock.

Anyway, this debate reminded me of this monster of an infographic (Flash warning! This won't work on an Apple tablet or phone!) that I designed in 2003. I'm still fond of the 3D models and the vector animations, but I certainly don't think that it's a good idea to make people click more than 50 times to get to the end of the presentation!

We all have a past, I guess. Here you have some screenshots of that awful thing:

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