chapter  26
13 Pages

Infographics and Interactivity

A Nexus of Magazine Art and Science
WithCarol B. Schwalbe

This chapter summarizes the scholarly literature on both static and interactive infographics. It deals with a discussion of the similarities and differences between infographics and data visualizations. The chapter looks at the 1980s and the influence of British graphic designer Nigel Holmes, whose colorful, whimsical infographics in Time magazine helped spark the graphics craze. It introduces Edward Tufte’s guidelines for preventing misleading or inaccurate displays of data, along with the findings of other scholars who identified common errors in media graphics. The 1990s saw an increase in scholarly research about how infographics help readers understand and recall information in accompanying stories. Drawing on the literature about information visualization, the chapter considers how human cognitive processes underlie effective techniques for representing abstract data that the mind can process and understand. It also deals with an examination of interactive infographics as a storytelling tool and suggestions for further research.