Are Infographics Dead?
While infographics on sharing platforms are at max saturation, how many of them can we consider to have truly groundbreaking – or even reliable – content? When data visuals were born, they put information on display in a way we’d never seen before. Then, as tends to happen on the internet, they got copied-and-pasted from others, or taken completely out of context until we were left with a bunch of noisy JPEGs boasting information of often questionable origin.
The infographic epidemic peaked in 2012, it seems, but now it’s on a downswing. What’s happened to our love for data visualization?
For one, they’re no longer custom-coded
More and more processes are going from being made with TLC to being in the hands of software and apps. This means that infographics are losing their custom touch – the quirk that made them so appealing to share – resulting in happy viewers. Not only that, but making infographics is becoming extremely easy, meaning that anyone can gather data and launch it out into the ether. Thus, infographics are becoming less interesting, less accurate, and less unique.
Also, people are going mobile
Most infographics and other means of data visualization were made to be viewed on a desktop computer. But now that 50% of people browsing the web are doing so from mobile devices, it’s a lot harder to appeal to the masses in that same way. This has caused us to regress a bit; it’s easier to represent data in a simpler way, such as a bar or line graph. Mobile viewing has also introduced new limitations, which is certainly affecting the success of the complex infographic.
Big data = more questions
It was once expected that mapping out data would answer many of the questions that we have, but we’ve come to find that it also highlights how much we don’t know. In other words, it’s tough to decide just how useful data visualization is – instead, we’re focusing on figuring out what the next steps are, and how to use what we know to unlock new doors.
So? Are infographics dead?
Infographics certainly aren’t as popular as they once were. The fact that anyone can produce one has caused them to lose their sheen. Going mobile also means that we want things to be simple – a push notification letting us know that it’s going to rain, rather than a Doppler of the weather. On the other hand, who knows? Infographics might evolve; they might allow us to map information in a way that makes it easier to develop apps or find glitches. So, they aren’t dead, but they’re finding a new place in the digital world.