Population with a                       Percentage of      BA degree or higher                      obese people          ...
An infographic is avisual representationof evidence, a toolfor analysis,communication, andunderstanding
Two partsEvidenceRepresentation
Throughout the years I’vebecome concerned aboutthe way we teach whatevidence is in J-Schools
http://ilovecharts.tumblr.com/“How silly. I’d never fall for that one!”
Homeopathy, autism and vaccines...We bite baits too easily
“It got worse after the zero-alcohol law was approved.   Deaths in car accidents have not stopped growing!”
Deaths per100.000 vehicles!
“Our world is not about ideology anymore. It’s about complexity”        Matt Taibbi, Griftopia
Are we teaching students and learn ourselveshow to deal with that complexity?
Moreover...We talk a lot about storytelling, but are wereally sure that we understand what thechallenges and limits of sto...
POPULATION CHANGE                                                                                                         ...
“Power”, “Impact”, “Captivate”, “Convince”, “Inspire”,“Persuade”, “Connect”...You may say that these are secondary values ...
The human brain tends to impose linear patterns tonon-linear phenomena to make sense of themThis can lead to “narrative fa...
I don’t even need to remind you of this, right?Many said that the main sin Lehrer committed was to make upquotes, but the ...
But we cannot avoid stories: The serial structure ofstories matches the serial dynamics of the thinking mindIn part, we li...
Perhaps we need to rethink how we teachstorytelling at J-School and the scientificmethod in research classes: Less theory a...
Two partsEvidenceRepresentation
Look for “BestInfographics”in Google andyou’ll find thingslike this
Look for “Best      No structureInfographics”in Google and       No contextyou’ll find thingslike this           It is not ...
An infographic (or visualization)should not be just a prettypicture but a structured, accuratevisual presentation of evide...
Graphics and glasses:With no glasses, the world looks like noise to me;with glasses, chaos becomes signal
A graphic is a tool. In a very literal sense:It extends our visual brain, it lets us see beyond what we would normally see...
A graphic is a tool. In a very literal sense:It extends our visual brain, it lets us see beyond what we would normally see...
Before you even switch the computer on, ask yourselfwhat are the questions that readers most likely willwant to have answe...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/interactive/2012/sep/12/us-poverty-map-2011-censusThe Guardian
How	  much	  you	  would	  save	  if	  federal	  income	  taxes	  were	  reduced	  20%Income                         First...
How	  much	  you	  would	  save	  if	  federal	  income	  taxes	  were	  reduced	  20%Income                         First...
How	  much	  you	  would	  save	  if	  federal	  income	  taxes	  were	  reduced	  20%Income                         First...
How	  much	  you	  would	  save	  if	  federal	  income	  taxes	  were	  reduced	  20%Income                         First...
Infographics should not beused to simplify stories, butto clarify them
USA Today
Three steps to become avisualization/infographics designerFirst one is to accept that a graphic is atool for understanding...
Second step is to startmaking simple graphicsabout topics you careabout. Tons of them.“Obesity is, on average,inversely pr...
Data
This doesn’t work... Percentage	  with	  a                Percentage	  ofBA	  degree	  or	  higher            obese	  people
This is a little bit better, but not much...         Percentage	  with	  a               Percentage	  of        BA	  degre...
Percentage	  with	  a                                Percentage	  of BA	  degree	  or	  higher                           o...
US	  obesity	  average:	  27%                           50                                           DC                   ...
Population with a                       Percentage of      BA degree or higher                      obese people          ...
Population with a                       Percentage of      BA degree or higher                      obese people          ...
Population with a                       Percentage of                    MN      BA degree or higher                      ...
Third step is to educate yourself in creating hierarchies,narratives, stories, etc., that make your presentationsunderstan...
http://revistaepoca.globo.com/diagrama/noticia/2011/09/confira-media-e-o-ranking-das-escolas-na-prova-do-enem-2010.html
Show me what I’d notbe able to see otherwise
Population with a                       Percentage of      BA degree or higher                      obese people          ...
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The Functional Art: Design and Infographics | Journalism Interactive Conference 2013 | journalisminteractive.com/2013/

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PRESENTER: Alberto Cairo (@albertocairo), Instructor, University of Miami.

DESCRIPTION: Too many journalists still relate the word "design" to making pages and websites look prettier. As a consequence, they think that the main goal of an infographic is to be eye-catching, engaging, and fun. They argue that infographics are means to "simplify" data that only specialized professionals are capable of creating. This presentation will debunk all these myths and propose an alternative view of infographics and visualizations as means to make messages richer, deeper, and more effective.

The Functional Art: Design and Infographics | Journalism Interactive Conference 2013 | journalisminteractive.com/2013/

  1. 1. Population with a Percentage of BA degree or higher obese people DC45% States with a larger percentage of people with higher education than with obesity States with a larger percentage of obese people than of people with a higher education US average 27.2% BA or higher 27.0% Obese40% MA CO NH MD35% NJ CT VT MS A Functional Art VI MN WV AL SC KY CA LA TX MI UT TN NY MO OK KS AR30% WA GA how to embrace and teach IN KS OH PA IA SD MO IL ND AZ DE MD GA NC infographics and visualization NE FL IL ME OR RI OR WI DE FL AK HI ID MT WI SD VA PA RI ND WA NM NM25% SC WY NE NH OH MN NV AK TX AZ MI CA IA NY TN NJ ME VT ID NC MA OK MT WY HI LA CT Alberto Cairo AL IN UT KY CO NV DC MS20% AR University of Miami www.thefunctionalart.com15% WV Twitter: @albertocairo
  2. 2. An infographic is avisual representationof evidence, a toolfor analysis,communication, andunderstanding
  3. 3. Two partsEvidenceRepresentation
  4. 4. Throughout the years I’vebecome concerned aboutthe way we teach whatevidence is in J-Schools
  5. 5. http://ilovecharts.tumblr.com/“How silly. I’d never fall for that one!”
  6. 6. Homeopathy, autism and vaccines...We bite baits too easily
  7. 7. “It got worse after the zero-alcohol law was approved. Deaths in car accidents have not stopped growing!”
  8. 8. Deaths per100.000 vehicles!
  9. 9. “Our world is not about ideology anymore. It’s about complexity” Matt Taibbi, Griftopia
  10. 10. Are we teaching students and learn ourselveshow to deal with that complexity?
  11. 11. Moreover...We talk a lot about storytelling, but are wereally sure that we understand what thechallenges and limits of storytelling may be?Do we teach them to our students?
  12. 12. POPULATION CHANGE Above Average +9.4% DIAGRAM Below +0.1% I am a journalist and a NEWS IN PERSPECTIVE -0,1% No data -9,4% available Brazil’s Demographic Opportunity How Brazil can take advantage of a future with fewer children designer: Storytelling is part of my life per couple. Alberto Cairo, Francine Lima, Marco Vergotti PRELIMINARY DATA FROM THE 2010 CENSUS create an interesting picture of the changes 2000 2010 Change that the Brazilian population has gone through AP 477,032 648,553 36.0% in the past ten years. Brazil’s population RR 324,397 425,398 31.1% grew, on average, 10% between 2000 and AC 557,526 707,125 26.8% 2010, but the fertility rate is below 2.1 children DF 2,051,146 2,469,489 20.4% per woman, the minimum to keep a PA 6,192,307 7,443,904 20.2% population from shrinking. According to AM 2,812,557 3,350,773 19.1% César Marques, a demographer from the TO 1,157,098 1,373,551 18.7% University of Campinas, the main challenge MT 2,504,353 2,954,625 18.0% Brazil will face in the future is how to maintain GO 5,003,228 5,849,105 16.9% a healthy Social Security system if the MS 2,078,001 2,404,256 15.7% number of older and retired people will SC 5,356,360 6,178,603 15.4% likely be much larger than it is today. SE 1,784,475 2,036,277 14.1% Read on to learn about all the variables at play MA 5,651,475 6,424,340 13.7% RN 2,776,782 3,121,451 12.4% in this story. RO 1,379,787 1,535,625 11.3% CE 7,430,661 8,180,087 10.1% Above AL 2,822,621 3,093,994 9.6% average1 BRAZIL’S POPULATION IS BIGGER ES 3,097,232 3,392,775 9.5% (Data updated on November 4, 2010) PB 3,443,825 3,753,633 9.0% The map shows the change in population The 2010 Census has revealed a 9.4% in Brazilian municipalities. Between PI 2,843,278 3,086,448 8.6% population increase between Below PE 7,918,344 8,541,250 7.9% average 2000 and 2010, 1,630 cities and towns, 2000 and 2010. The differences between SP 37,032,403 39,924,091 7.8% from a total of 5,506, lost population. Rio states, as you can see on the chart PR 9,563,458 10,266,737 7.4% Grande do Sul is the state with a the largest on the right, are noticeable. Most rich MG 17,891,494 19,159,260 7.1% number of municipalities that lost inhabitants, states, such as São Paulo and Rio, didn’t RJ 14,391,282 15,180,636 5.5% due to a significant drop in fertility rates grow as fast as the ones in the north east. BA 13,070,250 13,633,969 4.3% and domestic migration RS 10,187,798 10,576,758 3.8% 2000 169.799.170 2010 190,732,694 AVERAGE +9.4% Sources: IBGE, UN, World Bank, César Marques (UNICAMP)2 —BUT THE FERTILITY RATE IS MUCH LOWER THAN EXPECTED 3 AS A CONSEQUENCE, POPULATION WILL STOP GROWING— A study in 2004 estimated that in 2010, the fertility rate would be 2.4 children Forecasts made in 2004 anticipated that Brazil’s population per woman, on average. But new data collected by the IBGE prove that would stop growing in 2040. But the most recent data from the fertility rate is already 1.9, below the threshold called “replacement rate”. the IBGE suggests that this could happen much earler, in 2030. When the fertility rate drops below this number, the population of a country will eventually start to shrink and grow older. New population 250 million people peak: moment when population will stop growing Number of children per woman Each line 125 represents Former population a country peak (calculated in 2004) or continent 0 1950 2030 2040 2050 8 4 —AND IT WILL BECOME OLDER Men Women 75 years NIGERIA Comparing the current 7 population pyramid with the 65 one predicted for 2050 50 30 2005 20 6 Forecast for 2050 2 1 0 1 2 Millions of people per age group But many distrust YEMEN 5 How Brazil can transform the África population challenge into an opportunity As the population ages, the proportion of people of working age increases. 4 The country will therefore have more people producing wealth (if the labor WORLD market can absorb them) and fewer children to consume investments. It is a storytelling for very AVERAGE window of opportunity, because in some cases the number of people of working age to fall back when older people are leaving the market. 3 The population under 15 years of age is falling today. A smaller number of INDIA student in public schools will facilitate the quality of teaching, if the amount Australia invested in education stays the same. Asia Latin America Educational policy focused on low-income youth favors the formation of more good reasons... North America skilled workforce and greater social mobility. 2 BRAZIL Replacement level: average of In the future, Brazil will reach the stage of Europe and Japan, which struggle Europe 2.1 children per woman to support their elders. This is why it’s so important to prepare a more balanced retirement system, which will include retirement at a later age. CHINA 1 Years
  13. 13. “Power”, “Impact”, “Captivate”, “Convince”, “Inspire”,“Persuade”, “Connect”...You may say that these are secondary values for journalists but are you really sure about that?
  14. 14. The human brain tends to impose linear patterns tonon-linear phenomena to make sense of themThis can lead to “narrative fallacies”:Seeing connections and causation where there’s none;oversimplification of complex phenomena. Journalistsare not aware of brain bugs and biases, in general
  15. 15. I don’t even need to remind you of this, right?Many said that the main sin Lehrer committed was to make upquotes, but the main problem was not that: His books imposecohesive narrative structures to disperse bits of evidence
  16. 16. But we cannot avoid stories: The serial structure ofstories matches the serial dynamics of the thinking mindIn part, we like stories because we create storiesin our heads to make sense of the world
  17. 17. Perhaps we need to rethink how we teachstorytelling at J-School and the scientificmethod in research classes: Less theory andabstraction; less “follow your instincts” BS.Make statistics and qualitative methods funand exciting, and learn about cognitivebiases and shortcomings
  18. 18. Two partsEvidenceRepresentation
  19. 19. Look for “BestInfographics”in Google andyou’ll find thingslike this
  20. 20. Look for “Best No structureInfographics”in Google and No contextyou’ll find thingslike this It is not a visual representation, but a simple layout with a bunch of unrelated numbers.
  21. 21. An infographic (or visualization)should not be just a prettypicture but a structured, accuratevisual presentation of evidence
  22. 22. Graphics and glasses:With no glasses, the world looks like noise to me;with glasses, chaos becomes signal
  23. 23. A graphic is a tool. In a very literal sense:It extends our visual brain, it lets us see beyond what we would normally see, the same way a hammer makes us literally stronger
  24. 24. A graphic is a tool. In a very literal sense:It extends our visual brain, it lets us see beyond what we would normally see, the same way a hammer makes us literally stronger
  25. 25. Before you even switch the computer on, ask yourselfwhat are the questions that readers most likely willwant to have answered. Or what tasks your graphicshould help readers withChoose graphic forms accordinglyFunction doesn’t dictate form, but function doesrestrict the variety of forms it is acceptable to use foreach story and set of data(choosing forms is not a matter of personal taste only)
  26. 26. http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/interactive/2012/sep/12/us-poverty-map-2011-censusThe Guardian
  27. 27. How  much  you  would  save  if  federal  income  taxes  were  reduced  20%Income First Second Third Fourth FifthQuintile (Lowest) (Top)Average -$10 -$192 -$706 -$1,679 -$7,762tax  changeSOURCE:  The  New  York  Times GRAPHIC:  ACME
  28. 28. How  much  you  would  save  if  federal  income  taxes  were  reduced  20%Income First Second Third Fourth FifthQuintile (Lowest) (Top)Averagetax  change -$10 -$192 -$706 -$1,679 ? -$7,762SOURCE:  The  New  York  Times GRAPHIC:  ACME
  29. 29. How  much  you  would  save  if  federal  income  taxes  were  reduced  20%Income First Second Third Fourth FifthQuintile (Lowest) (Top)Average -$10 -$192 -$706 -$1,679 -$7,762tax  changeSOURCE:  The  New  York  Times GRAPHIC:  ACME
  30. 30. How  much  you  would  save  if  federal  income  taxes  were  reduced  20%Income First Second Third Fourth FifthQuintile (Lowest) (Top)Average -$10 -$192 -$706 -$1,679 -$7,762tax  changeSOURCE:  The  New  York  Times GRAPHIC:  ACMEHow  much  you  would  save  if  federal  income  taxes  were  reduced  20%Income  Quintile Average  tax  change First(Lowest) -$10 Second -$192 Third -$706 Fourth -$1,679 Fifth (Top) -$7,762SOURCE:  The  New  York  Times GRAPHIC:  ACME
  31. 31. Infographics should not beused to simplify stories, butto clarify them
  32. 32. USA Today
  33. 33. Three steps to become avisualization/infographics designerFirst one is to accept that a graphic is atool for understanding and get used tocritically analyzing published examples
  34. 34. Second step is to startmaking simple graphicsabout topics you careabout. Tons of them.“Obesity is, on average,inversely proportional to theaverage education of thepopulation”
  35. 35. Data
  36. 36. This doesn’t work... Percentage  with  a Percentage  ofBA  degree  or  higher obese  people
  37. 37. This is a little bit better, but not much... Percentage  with  a Percentage  of BA  degree  or  higher obese  peopleLower Higher Lower Higher
  38. 38. Percentage  with  a Percentage  of BA  degree  or  higher obese  people 0 50 100 0 50 100    District  of  Columbia 45.7 Mississippi 34    Massachusetts 36.7 West  Virginia 32.5    Colorado 35.5 Alabama 32.2    New  Hampshire 35.4 South  Carolina 31.5    Maryland 35.2 Kentucky 31.3    New  Jersey 34.6 Louisiana 31    Connecticut 34.5 Texas 31    Vermont 34.2 Michigan 30.9    Virginia 33.1 Tennessee 30.8    Minnesota 32.5 Missouri 30.5    California 31.7 Oklahoma 30.4    Utah 30.8 Arkansas 30.1    New  York 30.6 Georgia 29.6    Kansas 30 Indiana 29.6    Washington 29.9 Kansas 29.4    Missouri 28.1 Ohio 29.2    Arizona 28 Pennsylvania 28.6    Georgia 27.6 Iowa 28.4    Illinois 27.4 Illinois 28.2    Rhode  Island 27.2 Delaware 28    US  AVERAGE 27.2 North  Carolina 27.8    Delaware 26.9 South  Dakota 27.3    Hawaii 26.6 North  Dakota 27.2    F lorida 26 Maryland 27.1    Oregon 25.9 US  AVERAGE 27.0    Wisconsin 25.6 Nebraska 26.9    Alaska 25.5 Maine 26.8    Montana 25.5 Oregon 26.8    South  Dakota 25.5 Florida 26.6    Pennsylvania 25.3 Idaho 26.5    North  Dakota 25.2 Wisconsin 26.3    New  Mexico 25.1 Virginia 26    South  Carolina 24.9 Rhode  Island 25.5    Nebraska 24.8 Washington 25.5    Ohio 24.6 New  Mexico 25.1    Nevada 24.5 Wyoming 25.1    Texas 24.5 New  Hampshire 25    Michigan 24.4 Minnesota 24.8    Iowa 24.3 Alaska 24.5    Tennessee 24.3 Arizona 24.3    Maine 24.2 California 24    Idaho 23.8 New  York 23.9    North  Carolina 23.4 New  Jersey 23.8    Oklahoma 22.9 Vermont 23.2    Wyoming 22.5 Massachusetts 23    Louisiana 22.4 Montana 23    Alabama 22.3 Hawaii 22.7    Indiana 21.1 Connecticut 22.5    Kentucky 21 Utah 22.5    Mississippi 20.1 Nevada 22.4    Arkansas 18.8 District  of  Columbia 22.2    West  Virginia 15.3 Colorado 21
  39. 39. US  obesity  average:  27% 50 DC 45 40 CO MD 35 Percentageof  people  with 30 a  BA  degree People  with  a  BA, or  higher US  average:  27.2% 25 WY 20 AR WV 15 10 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 Percentage  of  obese  people
  40. 40. Population with a Percentage of BA degree or higher obese people Slopegraph DC45% States with a larger percentage of people with higher education than with obesity States with a larger percentage of obese people than of people with a higher education US average 27.2% BA or higher 27.0% Obese40% MA CO NH MD35% NJ CT VT MS VI MN WV AL SC KY CA LA TX MI UT TN NY MO OK KS AR30% WA GA IN KS OH PA IA SD MO IL ND AZ DE MD GA NC NE FL IL ME OR RI OR WI DE FL AK HI ID MT WI SD VA PA RI ND WA NM NM25% SC WY NE NH OH MN NV AK TX AZ MI CA IA NY TN NJ ME VT ID NC MA OK MT WY HI LA CT AL IN UT KY CO NV DC MS20% AR WV15%
  41. 41. Population with a Percentage of BA degree or higher obese people Population with a Percentage of BA degree or higher obese people DC45% States with a larger percentage of people with higher education than with obesity DC States with a larger percentage of obese people than of people with 45% a higher education US average States with a larger 27.2% BA or higher percentage of people with 27.0% Obese higher education than40% with obesity States with a larger percentage of obese people than of people with MA a higher education CO NH US average35% MD 27.2% BA or higher NJ CT 27.0% Obese VT MS VI 40% MN WV AL SC KY CA LA TX MI UT TN NY MO OK KS AR30% WA GA IN KS OH PA IA SD MO IL ND AZ DE MD NC FL GA IL NE ME MA OR RI OR WI DE FL AK HI ID MT WI SD VA PA RI WA CO ND25% NM NM NH SC WY MD NE OH NH MN 35% NV TX AK AZ NJ MI IA CA NY CT TN ME NJ VT VT MS ID NC MA OK MT WY HI LA CT AL IN UT KY CO NV DC VI MS20% MN WV AL SC AR KY CA LA TX MI UT TN NY MO OK KS AR WV 30%15% WA GA IN KS
  42. 42. Population with a Percentage of MN BA degree or higher obese people AL SC KY DC CA LA45% TX States with a larger MI percentage of people with UT TN higher education than with obesity NY MO OK States with a larger KS AR percentage of obese people 30% than of people with a higher education WA GA IN US average KS 27.2% BA or higher 27.0% Obese OH40% PA IA SD MO IL ND AZ DE MD GA NC NE FL IL ME OR RI OR MA WI DE FL AK HI ID CO MT WI NH MD SD VA35% NJ PA RI CT VT ND WA MS NM NM 25% VI SC WY MN WV NE NH AL SC KY OH MN CA LA TX NV AK MI TX AZ UT NY TN MO MI CA KS OK AR IA NY30% WA GA TN NJ IN KS ME VT OH ID PA NC MA IA MO IL DE SD ND OK MT AZ GA NC MD NE WY HI FL OR IL RI ME OR LA CT WI AK DE HI FL ID AL IN UT MT WI VA KY CO NV SD PA RI WA DC ND NM NM25% WY MS SC NE OH NH MN 20% NV AK TX AZ MI CA IA NY TN NJ ME VT ID NC OK MA MT AR WY HI LA CT AL IN UT KY CO NV DC MS20% AR WV WV 15%15%
  43. 43. Third step is to educate yourself in creating hierarchies,narratives, stories, etc., that make your presentationsunderstandable and useful. Don’t just throw data at readers ENEM test
  44. 44. http://revistaepoca.globo.com/diagrama/noticia/2011/09/confira-media-e-o-ranking-das-escolas-na-prova-do-enem-2010.html
  45. 45. Show me what I’d notbe able to see otherwise
  46. 46. Population with a Percentage of BA degree or higher obese people DC45% States with a larger percentage of people with higher education than with obesity States with a larger percentage of obese people than of people with a higher education US average 27.2% BA or higher 27.0% Obese40% MA CO NH MD35% NJ Thank you! CT VT MS VI MN WV AL SC KY CA LA TX MI UT TN NY MO OK KS AR30% WA GA IN KS OH PA IA SD MO IL ND AZ DE MD GA NC NE FL IL ME OR RI OR WI DE FL AK HI ID MT WI SD VA PA RI ND WA NM NM25% SC WY NE NH OH MN NV AK TX AZ MI CA IA NY TN NJ ME VT ID NC MA OK MT WY HI LA CT Alberto Cairo AL IN UT KY CO NV DC MS20% AR University of Miami www.thefunctionalart.com15% WV Twitter: @albertocairo

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