The Danger of Beautiful Data is a screen-based interactive infographic narrative about... the manipulative and persuasive potential of infographics. Strong visuals and a playful script highlight our blind spots in a visually overwhelming digital world.
Gallery of Screens (click to enlarge)
When I set out to do research for my own infographics, I was looking for statistics and information on persuasive presentations of data. Surprisingly, there isn't very much current research about the effects of presentational aesthetics on perceived validity and persuasiveness of information. Most of the sources I found (see here and here for examples) referenced faulty or completely fabricated data themselves! However, I was able to find enough primary sources to write a short script.
The next step was sketching and synthesis-- translating my thoughts into a visual story. I looked through hundreds of infographics and data visualizations from over the last year to get a sense of typical look and feel. From that, I came up with some key design constraints, described below.
To draw attention to my narrative and convey the scope of the information I was discussing, I wanted the app to feel like one long downward scroll, broken up into screens for structure. Beyond that, I wanted to take advantage of digital affordances such as overlays and transitions. Based on what I saw in other infographics, I decided to use circular shapes for representing content and rectangles for navigation. I applied my script to those visual themes and sketched out several sets of screens, with attention to hierarchy and clarity.
After that, I converted my sketches into artboards in Adobe Illustrator...
...and implemented navigation and transitions in Adobe XD.