The Calendar & Information Design
Although not recognized by spellcheck or T9, the word infographic has existed for quite some time. Infographic means the visual representation of data or the storytelling of that data. And lately, the word has been abused.
Pop culture caught on to the trend, and now it seems that it may be easier to tell a compelling story with a long scrolling jpeg posted to a blog than actually writing an argument. Some designers still achieve greatness in simplicity, removing the perceived fluff of biased journalism, letting the numbers speak. But there is also a large population of infographics that should have never been published, e.g. This example from a design firm advertising their infographic design services.
Before the nomenclature of the infographic was created, information design organized content and data. A great example—the calendar.
The calendar acts as a schedule for our lives. A reminder of what is to come, and what to remember.
The more challenging the scheduling conflicts, the more complex problems the calendar had to solve. With the 2012 London Olympics kicking off today, I took a look at the various approaches to building and representing the calendar for the two weeks of overlapping events that take place in different locations and are viewed by a billion people worldwide in different timezones.
Take a look at modern information design that isn't trying to argue a topic, but rather provide variable, complex, and accessible content to the masses.
NBC is the United States portal to the 2012 London Olympics. The calendar permits sorting by sport or by time, and choosing time in London or local. Although these filters achieve their purpose, the gold medallions seem predictable and unnecessarily large.
ESPN may have a snazzy landing page for the Olympics, but the schedule can only appear in list form, which becomes tedious when wanting a broader perspective on the event.
Yahoo places concentration on whether a medal is given during each event session.
The London 2012 site clearly achieves the best approach and execution of the schedule. With options of viewing in multiple orientations, you can sort and find the information you want in various ways.