Information Design Case Studies

For the case study assigned to your group analyze the artifacts provided in the text usin the topics we have discussed in class. Things to consider inclued:

Purpose, audience and data



Font usage

Color usage



Make sure to indicate which infographic (including page numbers) your group analyzed.

10 Responses to "Information Design Case Studies"

  • Case Study: Million Dollar Blocks Maps

    In terms of purpose, we concluded that this infographic is intended to inform the people of New York on how much money is sunk into incarcerating criminals within a specific city block; the target audience obviously being New York locals. Numerical data included in the graphic included the total amount spent in the area (17 million), the amount of incarcerated individuals in the given area (109 people), the size of the area (17 blocks), and the year of the survey (2003).
    In terms of the LATCH principle, the graphic satisfies only three of the categories. The Location of the survey is, of course, New York City. We felt it may have been prudent to include exactly where in New York these specific 17 blocks are located. The Time is provided (2003), but there is no evidence of any progression of time, which may be interesting to view different trends. The different color blocks represent Hierarchy, the brighter shades representing areas with a higher “cost”.
    When we look at the AIDA approach, we see how the audience’s Attention would be drawn by the bright colors and the preposterous figures (17 million in the area). Interest in the graphic would be generated by the audience; a New York resident is going to be interested in how their tax dollars are being spent and the apparent safety, or lack thereof, in their own neighborhood. Desire is created over the expected outrage the high crime rate and the fees spent to deal criminals would incite. The desired Action of the audience would be to, most likely, encourage donations to charities aimed toward crime prevention, or maybe even generate an interest in voting for reform.
    The font found in the graphic is appropriate for its purpose; however we found it to be a bit too small to be truly effective. The colors left something o be desired, being too similar to even discern the difference between blocks in some cases. However, the color red was most likely chosen to increase the feeling of incredulity/outrage over the information presented. In that respect, it was a good choice. The graph was found to be not very realistic, sometimes almost to the point of detriment. There are no qualifications given for how the blocks are grouped, which can lead to confusion and bias. We would prefer if there were a key included to explain why the areas are grouped the way they are.
    At first glance the graphic seems effective, which we supposed was really the point. You look at the page and see a gigantic blotch of bright, angry red filled with stark, outlandish figures. If intended to illicit a strong, immediate emotional response, the graphic certainly effective. However, in pursuit of this end, some accuracy and credibility may have been sacrificed. The blocking of the highlighted areas is not uniform, and thus is easily manipulated to show a favorable image. Also, as effective as the colors may be emotionally, they blend together too well. Looking at the graphic, it seemed to be just one big splotch of red. In actuality, there are several areas that are not as large as they appear to be; the line of separation all but drowned out by the too similar colors. As previously stated, we believe these issues were probably intentional so as to create a greater emotional response in the reader.

    1 Joe Midolo said this (November 2, 2011 at 2:44 am)

  • Student debt:

    Purpose: To show the rising student debt in the United States.
    Audience: College students and everyone who is paying back student debt or may have student debt one day.
    Data: Amount of money, numerical.
    LATCH: This inforgraphic shows amount of student debt over time.
    AIDA: Grabs Attention with pictures, Generates interest in college students or upcoming college students and gives them the desire to lower the amount of loans they take.
    Font: The size of the numbers grow as the hot air balloons get bigger.
    Color: Color is well contrasted and doesn’t take away from the information at all.
    Realism: Realism is shown through the different height and sizes of hot air balloons.
    Effectiveness: This graph is not very effective because there is little information in the biggest portion of the graph and a majority of the information is hard to see.

    2 Derek Anderson said this (November 2, 2011 at 12:44 am)

  • Purpose:
    To show the words used most in the texts of the 5 leading world religions, their relationships, and associations with each other.
    The audience is most likely religious people or people interested in religion and the relationships between different religions.
    How much a word is used (numerical), the percentages of how much each religion contributes to that word usage, the words grouped most with the main words, and the connections between words in religious texts.

    This infographic is based on words and there connections with other words in different religious texts.
    The graphic separates the different religious texts by color and separates the verbs most associated with central nouns found in the text.
    The larger arches show hierarchy, the size of text and intensity of color also show hierarchy in this graph.

    A-this graph grabs the attention by the colors and shapes used in it. The lines connecting the different religions are a great attention gainer as well.

    I-The viewers that would be interested in this graph are the people whose religion is labeled. Atheists could care less about this graph.

    D- Peoples desire on this graph will consist of how much they were interested. Their desire will be to follow the lines connecting their religion to see what other religion is connected to it.

    A-if they like the graph enough they might want to take an action. If they have some criticism they would want to contact the site and send it to them.

    Font usage- This graph is almost based on its font. A list of people ranging from God’s to prophecies was listed. The bigger the font, the larger number of people believed in that being. It also lists what that being said listed from the biggest to smallest. The biggest font from what that being said the most, to the smaller font of what they said the least.

    Color Usage – They use colors to separate the different religions from one another (categories). They also use these colors or categories to express the similarities between the different religious texts. Colors also represent quantitative values (how many times a certain word appears in a religious text).

    Realism – They do not use realism in this infographic (no photos). This graphic is a diagram showing the similarities and differences between major religions.

    Comments – This is a very interesting and effective infographic. It represents the similarities between religions, people from the religions, and ourselves. It uses lines to connect the different religions, based off reoccurring words or ideas in the texts. This infographic helps the viewer realize that despite all of the religious turmoil, there is a lot of similarities in ideas and beliefs.

    3 hkenned2 said this (November 1, 2011 at 6:29 pm)

  • For Nicholas Kent’s group

    Million Dollar Blocks:

    The purpose of this infograph is to to prove that putting people in jail creates a burden for the tax payer. It costs nearly 30,000 dollars a year to support just one inmate, which comes from our taxes. This infograph also tells us that certain neighborhoods contain more people in prisons than others. Also, almost all inmates return to the same home they came from before they were put in prison. The audience this infograph applies to is tax payers and the general public. The data was gathered from prison records and the map diagram was developed through law enforcement software. This infograph displays the Location aspect of LATCH because it represents a neighborhood in Brownsville of Brooklyn, New York City. With AIDA, the attention is about the interest of the population and how many people are in prison from a certain neighborhood. The interest in AIDA deals with the general publics interest in the amount of money spent on inmates/neighborhoods which contain the most convicts and how we can diminish the number of people in prison. The desire in AIDA is people who want to diminish money spent on inmates and to help make certain neighborhoods better. The action in AIDA is the ability for people to make rehab centers for released former inmates and to help decrease the number of convicts in certain neighborhoods. The font used in this infograph is small, white numbers. The numbers overlap different colored backgrounds which can be hard to read. The color can be confusing as well. There is little difference between dark red and red. Realism factor however is very useful. We get to see diagrams of actual neighborhoods scaled down. Effectiveness is very good because we do get to understand which neighborhoods have the most crime. Overall I feel that this infograph has the right concept, however it can be improved by making the diagram a little more clearer and also using different colors to demonstrate different areas.

    4 dhydorn said this (November 1, 2011 at 2:31 pm)

  • Surplus & Debt (page 178)

    Purpose: to show a comparison between the US surplus and debt

    Audience: primarily taxpayers, but can apply to anyone that has anything to do with the US

    Data: bars and colors representing amounts of money

    C – Surplus, debt
    H – Hierarchy

    A – yes
    I – Interest, impacts peoples’ lives
    D – yes
    A – stop spending; increase surplus and decrease debt

    Font usage: Nothing special, good and legible size and weight, doesn’t stand out but isn’t too boring

    Colors: makes sense using red for debt and green for surplus, good contrast on black background and white neutral color

    Realism: uses sizes and silhouettes of real-life objects but not the objects themselves, so kinda

    Comments: It’s effective because it’s easy to understand, and the design is understated and unobtrusive.

    5 aelindeman said this (November 1, 2011 at 2:20 pm)

  • The Surplus and the Debt: Pg. 178-179
    Group: Krissy, Kaleb, Kyle

    Purpose, Audience, and Data: the purpose was to show just how drastic the national debt is compared to how much we actually spend. The audience is mainly towards tax payers and such. The data has the surplus being at 115 billion dollars and the debt being at 5.7 trillion dollars.

    LATCH: We came up with the idea that it may fit into category because it sort of breaks it down into some categories as shown with the pictures.

    AIDA: Awareness – gives its awareness to the general public about the national debt. Action – its saying that if people are unhappy with the current standings, then people need to go out there and vote/change who is currently in charge.

    Font Usage: It would basically have small font size for labeling some parts like the in the beginning pictures but it would also use big font to mention something if need be like the first picture on row two.

    Color Usage: The colors here were used to distinguish the good dollars from the bad dollars hence the surplus being green and the debt being red.

    Realism: The realism here was the main part in letting other people know what was going on because it used real life things to show how tall our debt and surplus would be if it was counted out in 100 dollar bills.

    Effectiveness: We felt that the graphic was effective at displaying how much more out national debt is than the money people spend.

    6 kwilfong said this (October 31, 2011 at 8:00 pm)

  • Student Debt Balloons: Marina, Mo, and Brooke
    1. The purpose is to show the increasing magnitude of student debt over the years indicated. The audience would be any prospective students, families, or anyone who deals with colleges. The data shown is the debts accumulated from various types of colleges.
    2. The bottom portion of this infographic would be classified as a category, because it groups information of relevance together. The top portion however would be classified as time and hierarchy, because it showing the debt accrued over time, and also it shows the differences in amount as the size of the balloon.
    3. We determined that is was effective for attention because it makes you curious to know more about the topic at a glance, also the bold type and the size of the balloons help direct your focus. It is definitely of interest to the audience because it can greatly affect members of the audience and their life choices. As far as an emotional response goes, it does evoke a sense of anger, because of the high prices. Then to does suggest action because it allows you to think of alternative options for payment such as scholarships, or choosing a public over a private school.
    4. The font is legible and uses an appropriate font style and size for the topic.
    5. We thought they used an appropriate amount of colors, as well as appropriate, shades of color. The bands across the balloons help to visuals and distinguish the balloons from each other.
    6. The stream lined drawing is better because it simplifies the image and allows the symbolism to shine through, a real picture would have much more detail and distract the audience form the topic.
    7. Beyond the symbolism and making it more interesting, there is not really a point to the hot air balloons.
    Over all we would say it is definitely an effective graph.

    7 Marina said this (October 31, 2011 at 4:34 pm)

  • Tour De Force, Page 180.
    Group: Callie, Claudia, and Tyler

    Purpose: To display the details of the Tour De France bicycling race that not a lot of people are aware of.
    Audience: Anyone interested in sports, or cycling more specifically.
    Data: The time, distance, and landscape details of the race.

    LATCH: Location, (France and a small portion of Switzerland), and Time, (shows some details of the race throughout the 21 stages).

    AIDA: Attenion, (the many details in a small graph, with the bright red and yellow colors attract attention), and Interest because it is an interesting graph to look at and learn about.

    Font Usage: There is the same, small, San- Serif font throught the graph.

    Color Usage: The primary colors, (red, yellow, and blue) are used in this graph. The red is used the most, probably becsue the color red attracts the human eye the most out of all the colors.

    Realism: There are levels of elevation throughout the race shown, icons of bikes, crashes, and other elements.

    This graph is a good use of space, and is very interesting to look at. They have very good details and I’m sure a lot of people learned more about the difficulty of the sport of cycling than what they knew before.

    8 cwysor said this (October 31, 2011 at 3:24 pm)

  • Similar Diversity
    The purpose was to analyze and find connections between words and in sacred texts. The Audience was anyone really; it was created as a personal venture, but specifically religious people. The Data were nouns and their connected verbs frequency. There were 5 Religions. The Latch Principles used were category and Alphabet. The AIDA was it definitely has interest and desire. It gives the viewer a desire to dissolve into the graphic. It also defiantly attracts attention because of its size. The Font is simple, unobtrusive, and non-distracting. It gets small on the page, but because it’s meant to be on a wall the small font won’t be a problem in person. It is very effective. The color usage was portrayed very well, they correspond to the different religions, but it should have been kept constant – they fade to grey as they move down in the columns. The Realism was N/A from the graphic.
    Comments: It is cool, effective, simple, but at the same time deep and very interesting.

    9 drichard said this (October 31, 2011 at 11:25 am)

  • Tour de Force p.180

    Purpose: To show the terrain of the race that need to be covered during the 21 stages of the race.

    Audience: Sports fans,Sports Illustrated subscribers, or anyone that is interested in cycling.

    Data: There are many elements that make up the message that the designers are trying to portray to their audience:
    -The bars represent each of the individual stages of the race.
    -The bikes represent where the biggest concentration of crashes occur in the race, in this case being during stages 1-8. This leads the viewer to understand this to be so because in these stages, the cyclist are still not spread out as much.
    -The plane indicates that a flight must betaken as part of the race.
    -The clocks represent the time trials in the race.

    LATCH- This infograph uses time by showing stages of a race and it uses location to show what obstacles need to be gone through and where does the race take place.

    -Attention is caught with the use of the peaks and the many little details, including the color choices, which
    make the data stand out from the background.
    -Interest is caught because of the unusual approach to make this graph, which makes people want to figure it out.
    -Desire to support is created by evoking sympathy for those who attempt and compete in this race.
    – Awareness is created by presenting the trials that this race involves to either support those who compete or be involved in the race themselves.

    Font size- There is a lot of written data in this graph. The important data that is used to grab attention is all capitalized, such as the title of the graph and the mountains. The details of the graph are shown in smaller font, so that the reader spends more time reading and understanding the graph. All of the writing is in sans serif.

    Color usage- The colors do not aid in the interpreting of the graph, but the four colors used: red, orange, yellow, and blue are used well enough to contrast the information they portray with each other. The yellow stands out because it represents the only part of the race that does not take place in France, which is in stages 16-17.

    Realism: The peaks are used to represent the mountains, the bicycles are used to represent cyclists’ crashes, the plane is used to make the reader aware that an airplane ride in involved in this race, and the clocks are used to represent time trials beginning again in the race.

    Effectiveness: This graph effectively shows overall that there is a lot involved in these races.

    10 Ileana Perez said this (October 31, 2011 at 9:27 am)