Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lying with Layout

Have you seen the super-busy, overwhelming-looking flow chart being used by members of Congress (such as Michele Bachmann) who are against changes in our health insurance system? It looks like this:

Nightmarish flowchart of overlapping lines and jarring colors
(See the whole chart here in PDF format.)

Looking at this, any reasonable person would say "Hell, no!" to the new system, without even trying to understand it.

But think about the power of the graphics themselves. This flowchart has been made intentionally confusing and cluttered, with jarring colors and lots of unnecessary borders on the boxes.

Here's an alternate version of the same information by a competent designer named Robert Palmer. (Full version here.) Which one can you read? Which one seems like it's actually intended to be read, rather than to cast health care change in a bad light?

Flowchart with circles and clear directions indicated
A rhetorical question, clearly.

Thanks to BoingBoing for the link.

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