Posts Tagged ‘Info Design’
A local cafe has compiled a somewhat-visual depiction of their activities over the year. The focus is on communicating data as it relates to the sustainability initiatives of the cafe.
Pranav Mistry combines standard, everyday gestures with digital information. His solutions -which include the SixthSense wearable computer – have potential to bring real transparency into sustainability, and enable people to literally immerse themselves in their own ecological footprints. Read MORE
This nifty flash tool from the University of Utah’s Genetic’s lab lets viewers zoom into an image to experience the size of increasingly small cells relative to each other. Such an interactive and immersive experience helps people understand more about the world around them – the very, very small world.
A useful application based on some of the same principles behind the Eames’ Powers of 10.
For the first time, the prestigious INDEX Design Award has a winner from the field of communication design. ‘PIG 05049′ is a primarily-visual book, designed and conceived by Christien Meindertsma, that traces all the products made from one pig.
Meindertsma’s intent for the project:
Help people in a highly mechanized and “packaged” world understand how things are made and where they come from so that the resources involved can be cared for by enlightened, informed people.
It’s nice to see the role of communication design to build awareness being recognized within the design community.
Read a previous entry on Meindertsma’s project here.
Seventh Generation’s liquid dish soap bottles are sporting an in-depth ingredient label – under the existing label.
The peel-away outer back-panel gives a text-heavy overview of the company’s safety criteria and commitment to transparency. Inside, an extended eco-label takes the first steps toward integrating statistics: Minimally illustrated with a home icon, the statement reads that ‘if every household in the U.S. replaced petroleum-based dish soap with plant-based… we would save 86,000 barrels of oil (the equivalent to heat and cool 4,900 U.S. homes per year).
Its nice to see a comparison that puts so many barrels of oil into a meaningful perspective for the purchaser.
The peel-away label allows for 2 additional panels for the consumer to transparently uncover information, but the space could have been used even more effectively: I’d love to see a more life-cycle oriented approach applied to this design format, and the icons used to highlight information, rather than to advertise the company’s other product offerings.
The New Leaf paper eco-audit is a well-thought out tool that communicates transparency, and -in a beautiful way- helps the end consumer understand the sustainability-positive impact of using a specific paper.
The eco-audit provides a place for data on resources that have been saved throughout the life-cycle of New Leaf’s paper (as compared to the industry standard). The eco-audit profiles the quantity of ‘saved’ trees, water, energy, solid waste and greenhouse gases. And an online portal allows companies to customize the quantities for their own print-jobs.
Customizable background stories supported by sustainability statistics- what isn’t to love? A bit more visual reference could be incorporated into the eco-audit label, or the concept could have some accompanying publicity or other materials that really bring this idea to (visual) life. This may include developing an application to show comparisons online, or supplementing the numbers with visual representation. I -for one- would like to see what an expanse of 118-saved trees actually looks like. Or a comparison to how many swimming pools 50,178 gallons would fill.
An exhibit on Water at the Science Museum of Minnesota contains an interactive display that allowed people to ‘become’ a raincloud. By rubbing a ‘raincloud’ tool over a series of screens displaying a topographic map, the cloud rains drops of water onto the topo-map. Visitors can see how the drops of water run down the sides of a topographic map to slow and pool together in the valleys between mountains. Colliding together, the blue drops create rivers which meander through valleys until falling off the screen.
As a fun way for visitors to interact with the exhibit, this project helps people understand how water flows (the fact being downhill- which I thought was obvious, but apparently there is an overwhelming number of people who are surprised when rivers turn to flow North instead of South, as on maps they must have an idea that gravity makes the water flow off the page.)
Google is in the development stages of a power meter that enables users to monitor real-time feedback on their household energy consumption. This kind of instantaneous feedback gets to the basic premise of why it’s important to show & tell background stories. This power meter is tool that enables the customer to make their own choices: in this case, the customer can make the connection between more energy usages= more $.
Follow google’s developments on www.google.org/powermeter.
Perhaps this precision monitoring of the background of products also paves the way for technologies enabling people to generate their own power – and sell it back to utilities.
Good info-design requires consistency and repetition in order to establish a visual pattern. This site does both well.
Using a small-multiples-like approach that allows the viewer to compare the chips at-a-glance, the designer has clearly paired color pallet with the chips. The miniature chips (color, texture and all) are both a reference to the chip variety, and a visual navigation to additional information on the product.
And they taste good too.