Infographic: Collapsing Seas


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There’s a lot of great information about the declining state of the world’s oceans here. It provides great insight from a list of threats to in-depth examinations of the biggest offenders. The colors are great and the design is clean, so it’s easy to follow. I feel like I have a really good sense of the topic after looking this over.

What’s bogging this IG down is lots of text! It’s doing a lot of explaining and not enough showing. Some opportunities for data viz are missed–right at the beginning, there are 2 great stats that don’t get a chance to shine with visualization. (The Global Decline of Tuna Populations graph, however, is outstanding!) Any amount of text on a graphic is going to look pretty heavy in comparison to the white space around it, especially because of the justification of most of it–for example, the factoid about ghost nets is smooshed into 2/3 of the width of the graphic, so visually it ends up looking daunting. It looks like a whole paragraph, though it’s only 2 sentences, so my eye just wants to glaze over it. Infographics are about seeing the information, not reading it.

But again, I love the design and the way the data viz that is on the graphic is represented. If we could cut down on the text and bump up the data viz quotient, this would be fantastic. (And if we could protect our oceans from all the damage we do to them, with overfishing, littering and polluting, the world would be a better place! We could start by reducing our littering in general–do you know how much plastic is in the ocean? Reusable bags alone just might save the world…)

With all that in mind, I give it a B for now!

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