I love that we live in an information age. Easy access to so much information is a wonderful gift. In my pocket I carry a mobile phone that is a small computer connecting me to the entire world. Anything that I want to know can be quickly and easily accessed. This comes in really handy when answering my 5 year old son’s never-ending stream of questions: “How far away is the moon?”, “How heavy is a whale?”, “What is the temperature in space?”, “Where do Mermaid live?”, “Why didn’t you remember to buy ice cream?” and so on.
As much as I appreciate access to this all this information, sometimes it can be too much of a good thing. To compound the complication of too much information is the fact that we live in a world of abundant diversity. For example, look up “Mushrooms” on Google. There are 67,900,000 results for more than 38,000 types of mushrooms. If you spent 5 minutes on each of those nearly 68 million webpages, for 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, it would take you more than 1900 years to see them all. Even a single minute on each webpage would take 388 years. An impossible amount of information to approach head on.
Our task is no longer trying to find information, but instead our task is to design methods to extract and synthesize information suitable for our needs. If we continue to take mushrooms as an example, it’s estimated that 4% of all mushrooms are edible and delectable. The estimated 38,000 types of mushrooms in existence can be reduced by our culinary desires to a large, but less unwieldy number closer to 1500 types of mushrooms. To further reduce that number we can focus on a geographic area of native mushrooms, such as Ohio. The state of Ohio is home to 2000 different varieties of mushrooms. If 4% of the mushrooms in Ohio are edible and delectable then we can hone in on just 80 different types of mushrooms. It’s still a lot of different types of mushrooms, but not an impossible number to use and apply.
Simplify & Educate. That is what I am attempting to do with the infographics. Begin by approaching a topic that contains an enormous amount of information. Sift through the information to extract useful information. Find patterns making the relationships between the different parts within the topic meaningful. Present the findings in a simple and educational manner.
Coming soon: Red Wine, Mushrooms, and Berries.