Written by Perry Firth, project coordinator, Seattle University’s Project on Family Homelessness and school psychology graduate student
Editor’s Note: This is a re-post from our partners at Firesteel.
Caption: Here is a portion of our new infographic, “The Big Brain.” If you want to see the rest of the infographic, keep reading! Image from the Project on Family Homelessness.
In September, Seattle University students Perry Firth and Krista Kent created nine new infographics as part of our series, Poverty and Homelessness in the Public School System. The experience inspired them to create one super-infographic that they nicknamed “The Big Brain.” It took them three months. What are the perils of encapsulating so much information into one bold visualization? Perry takes us behind the scenes of creating this brand-new infographic, “Child Homelessness & Toxic Stress: Far-Reaching Consequences,” and shares some pointers for designers and writers who take on the challenges of conveying complex data.
I once read somewhere that we have the attention span of goldfish.
Or, at least I think that’s what I read. I was scanning the article, so I could be wrong.
Jokes aside, there is no doubt that the Internet is shaping how information is conveyed, and interacted with. People are reading less. Yes, it’s true. And, in our Internet-saturated culture, our attention spans are also decreasing.
We start articles, but we don’t always finish them.
Where once people were more interested in in-depth analysis of a particular subject matter, now we scan contently quickly, picking out choice pieces of information.
This is something that the Project on Family Homelessness team is aware of. Therefore we have increasingly prioritized developing high-quality infographics (visual representations of information) – either on behalf of our partner organizations or for our own content – as a way to convey our messaging without overwhelming our audience.
And no, the irony is not lost on me that I am writing something that requires reading, about how people aren’t reading. Ha!
Caption: Hi! My name is Perry. I enjoy writing long pieces around the need to write less. Photo courtesy of Perry Firth. Continue reading