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Infographics: The Power of Visual Storytelling by Ross Crooks, Josh Ritchie, Jason Lankow

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DEMOCRATIZED ACCESS TO CREATION TOOLS

What will be the fate of the medium if the web becomes increasingly flooded with infographics? Some say people will become disillusioned based on the prevalence of low-quality designs, brought about by the automation of their creation. On the other hand, the time spent creating and consuming infographic content will lead to better understanding of data, and the best practitioners will also continue to innovate and compete, which will help raise the bar for quality and increase demand for stronger conceptual work, especially for brands that want to stand out from the pack.

To frame this properly, it is helpful to think of the widespread use of video on the web. With ready access to the tools to create and upload videos, we see a huge variation in quality, with more noise and less signal. It does not make sense to say “I hate videos” after seeing a lot of bad ones, as video is still an established and viable medium of communication. When asked how he felt about industry concerns over the democratization of visualization tools, data visualization expert Ben Fry said,

“The same argument has been made with any technological leap since the beginning of time. Books printed en masse had a similar reaction. The Internet came along and everybody could post things on [it], and wouldn’t that be the end of the world? The important thing is to focus on the literacy aspect of [whatever the medium is]. The more that people do the work, [the more it] goes to ...

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