When is a Picture is Worth 2,403 Pages?

Filed Under Mindjet

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October 26, 2011

Data is inherently difficult for human beings to digest. Today, the ability to easily comprehend complex data is more important than ever before.  We are now bombarded with more information than ever before. In this age of information overload, how can we convey complex information that not only grabs individuals’ attention, but also is easily understood? The answer is visually.
As we’ve talked about in previous posts, the brain predisposed to remember images. Why not take advantage of this? Enter the infographic.
To illustrate our point, let’s use the US Federal Budget as an example. What could be more complex than trying to understand where all of our tax money goes? While the government does publish how it appropriates our tax dollars, trying to actually track the spend is a very complicated endeavor.
Jess Bachman is here to change that. His poster Death and Taxes is a great example of the power of visual communication. With his poster, he’s created an attention grabbing, easily digestible way of understanding a complex idea.
But don’t just take our word; check out Seth Godin’s blog post on the power of visualization.

Today, our desktops receive more information at faster rates than ever before. We’re bombarded with the equivalent of 174 newspapers a day -that’s fives times the amount of daily information available to us in 1986. That means that to be successful in today’s world, workers need to quickly digest often very complex information and data.   As collaborators and presenters of such information, how can we not only grab  someone’s attention, but also make the information easily understood?

Visualization can help.

As we’ve talked about in previous posts, the brain is predisposed to remember images. Why not take advantage of this?

To illustrate my point, let’s use Jess Bachman’s US Federal Budget example.  What could be more complex than the U.S. Federal budget? Sure, the government publishes how it appropriates tax dollars but have you actually tried to track it all?  The 2012 budget is 2,403 pages long.   That’s a lot of stats to wade through.  Jess condensed it to one page.

His poster Death and Taxes is a great testimonial to the power of visualization. It’s an attention grabbing and an easily digestible way of understanding admittedly complex information.

Death and Taxes

But don’t just take our word for it; check out Seth Godin’s blog post.

4 Responses to “When is a Picture is Worth 2,403 Pages?”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1.  Want Stickiness? Underscore with an Image | The Mindjet Blog
  2.  Visual Storytelling: A Modern Art | The Mindjet Blog

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