Infographics – please stop!

There’s a recent trend that’s started really bugging me. Infographics. Not all infographics: I love websites like Infosthetics.com that show case some inspiring and beautiful ways of visually presenting data. What I’m hating is cheap blog infographics like this example on Mashable. It’s a time line; is the best way to present a list of events on the web a 700kb image? Really? There have been web development wars over using tables for layout vs nice clean semantic HTML and we’re now using fucking images to store information? Stop it. Now. It’s not big, it’s not clever, accessible, indexable or anything but shit. Calling it an infographic does not make it OK to through all web standards out the window. The web design and development community needs to make it clear that this is not acceptable.

The web is designed to be a flexible, accessible way of sharing information. If you mark up your information as HTML then people on all sorts of devices can access it, search engines can index it. That’s how the web works. The act of marking up content as HTML adds a level of meaning to that makes the web useful. If you ignore the all the goodness of the web and make your content a big fat image then your opting out, your making something that is inaccessible, dead, unwieldy, un-indexable.  I thought we had moved past the stage where websites use images for text because they wanted to use a fancy typeface or didn’t want to learn CSS – there are just so many better options available with modern browsers and technology – but it seems to be making a comeback with blog infographics.

I really can’t see a difference between these infographics and websites from the 90s where everything was an image. Lets do better.

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