Data + Design Project

A Living, Breathing Infographic: A Look at the Web’s First Socially Generative Visualization

Friday 11.30.2012 , Posted by
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The idea of a Socially Generative Visualization originated out of a section of the design handbook INFOGRAPHICS. An SGV, as described by authors Jason Lankow, Josh Ritchie and Ross Crooks, is a new direction for data visualization – one which marketers and content consumers alike should take note of – especially as the landscape of content distribution continues to evolve and be affected by socially relevant data.

What’s the next step when you’re looking to give your viewers a deeper interaction with your content? Apparently, we should be looking at “socially generative visualizations,” a novel approach that combines the best aspects of traditional static Infographics and classic interactive interfaces with a new purpose: “to allow the viewer to interact with the content in a more meaningful way by contributing to and actually being a part of the measured data that is displayed.

The first implementation of this concept, created by Column Five, is on display here on Visual News with a graphic titled SGV: Money. The interactive polls viewers for their opinion and data, and subsequently creates different visuals for every new visitor to the site with the continually generating data. The implications of Infographics that change with user input while maintaining a visual aesthetic should leave a lot to the imaginations of developers and marketers in the coming months and years to come. The dynamic nature of the Infographic allows future content to have perpetual relevance, as it is always updated within the original context.

In the case of SGV: Money, we get to see what males and females think about each other’s spending and saving habits, all of which is affected by not only the poll answers you submit, but the type of answers other live viewers are submitting.

According to the graphic, 55.2% of people thought that men were better with money than women. Yet, with a graphic that’s powered by social data and filters powered by the users, that sentiment skewing towards men could change by the time I refresh the page.

Click through for a full look and tip the scales yourself — that is the point, after all.

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