Why even on Thanksgiving, I can never be at peace with Infographics…

Anyone who know me will know how much my blood boils when I see Infographics.

I wish I could find an exception, and sadly even on Thanksgiving I can’t bring myself to find compassion for these abominable expressions of data visualisation.

See why below:

First up is an Infographic that at first glance seems fairly innocuous. I couldn’t find a higher resolution version, so I’m afraid you’re going to have to squint.

What this purports to show is the calorific savings one can make by healthy eating.

Unfortunately, the overlayed bar is a disaster when it comes to demonstrating information in this way, as your eye is immediately drawn to comparing the relative sizes of the two bars, without realising that the white bar is overlayed onto the black bar.

What is more unforgivable however is the total disregard for scale. Have a look at Fresh Fruit and compare it to Brown Rice. Now weep.

Next up is an Infographic which even I struggled to find fault with at first. Studying it for some minutes though the issues begin to jump off the page. Why are ‘1995’ and ‘2005’ shaded in the bar chart? If you’re trying to show how much of the cost of Thanksgiving is the turkey, why not display this on the bar chart? The only worse data visualisation to pie charts are donuts, and designers should never be forgiven for displaying text over an image which obscures the text (at least the scale is correct, I’m Thanksgiving for that)! What really gets my goat though are the triangles on the bottom. Why are they not correctly proportioned according to their weighting?

And finally, I don’t even know where to begin with the one below. At least it’s educational:

Happy Thanksgiving!

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