ANALYSIS: Designs of New Information Presentations

There is nothing that cannot be Google’d.  Typing in random numbers can even give you results!  Typing in random letters will have Google asking if you were searching for something similar.  Although there is a debate about whether Google is making us dumber, there is no argument that more information is available to many of us in the industrialized world.  With such an abundance of information on a variety of complex subjects it is also now, more than ever, very important for communicators to present information in an effective and concise manner. 

But before we make everything into bullet points in all our written material let’s take a look at a few examples of top-notch information presentation that will have your PowerPoint looking like child’s play. 

Hans Rosling analyzes health and poverty issues in developing countries.  Presentations on such a large topic would usually include innumerable slides with separate and static graphs.  By simply layering his data and presenting it in a dynamic manner, large scope trends become more salient and comprehendible.

Blaise Aguera y Arcas demonstrates his photo viewing software, Photosynth.  The software takes a variety of images and places them together in an interactive three-dimensional space. 

The Guardian presents a map from the Met Office Hadley Centre and other scientists showing the impact of a global temperature rise of 7 degrees Fahrenheit.  The study shows the disastrous temperature rise could come as soon as 2060 without serious and immediate action. 

These presentations of information share a few things in common: using creative technology-based media, relying less on paragraphs of written word, and interactivity. 

Bill Moggridge, an industrial and interaction designer says, "designers of digital technology products no longer regard their job as designing a physical object--beautiful or utilitarian--but as designing our interactions with it."

As our society develops and information becomes increasingly complicated communicators must co-develop effective information presentation tools and techniques at equivalent rates for the world at large to know and easily digest complex ideas. 

A Dispatch by SSC Intern Kang Chang