Facebook vs Twitter 2010

In: Graphic Design (bad) Internet/tech

4 Jan 2011

I usually try to avoid Facebook/Twitter infographics because 1) there are too damn many of them; 2) they don’t convey much information; and 3) most of them are badly designed.  The one below manages to convey some very interesting comparative information, but I can’t help but think it could be better. Perhaps separating out each indicator so they can be compared side by side instead of constantly jumping back and forth between the two circles? Is this a good example of how graphic designers have to choose between aesthetics and ease of use? Anyone want to take a crack at a do-over?

two badly designed arc graphics comparing twitter and facebook users

5 Responses to Facebook vs Twitter 2010

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Jonathan L

January 4th, 2011 at 11:35 am

Very bad design.

First impression: It’s a pie chart
Second impression: 88% isn’t the 1/7 of a circle???!?! Oh, it’s not a pie chart
Third impression: “88% of all people” What?! 88% of USA? or the world? of facebook user (That will be funny, 60 million of the facebook user doesn’t know what facebook is…)?

For twitter:
The “67% of brand follower will purchase that brand” is so big in comparison to the “25% follow a brand”. In fact, the logic say that the % give the % of the user total. So it will be better to have 67%*25%= 17%.

And it’s in no way a comparison of the two brand. Unless you have a QXGA screen, it’s impossible to view on one screen, so you must scroll to compare…

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Howard L

January 4th, 2011 at 12:36 pm

The problem that jumps out at me is the 87%/60% (% of pop aware of site). The rest of the information shows a breakdown of facebook/twitter users but these two numbers show awareness among the total pop and in my opinion should not be included. The only way these would be valid would be if only 87% of facebook users are aware of facebook.

In response to Jon, I agree regarding following brands. Maybe the designer could have made the 51% a part of the 40%.

I would have put these side by side and mirrored them so that the more detailed segments such as age and income would be next to each other in the center. Simpler segments like gender would be on the outer edges as they would require the reader to go back and forth less.

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Siobhan R

January 4th, 2011 at 9:21 pm

It’s not really even an example of having to choose between aesthetics and function, because it’s not particularly aesthetically pleasing. The longer you look at it, the less satisfactory it seems on all counts. (and it also has the misfortune of appearing right after that particularly elegant movie chart.)

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Scott

January 5th, 2011 at 11:32 pm

Circle graphs like this are an inherently awkward method of presenting information for most uses. The information would almost always be better presented in a more standard rectangular form. Infographic designers seem to like them for some reason, although I can’t figure out why. I agree with Siobhan that it’s not really aesthetically pleasing either.

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Howard L

January 11th, 2011 at 5:02 pm

I have to agree that no matter how you slice it, this presentation is awkward. It’s fun to present data in interesting ways, but if it’s unnecessary and/or makes interpretation more difficult then you’ve defeated the purpose.

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