Posted on / by Stina / in Events

Infohackit Lancaster: Communicating Science with Infographics

Infohackit is a hackathon style event which invites Designers, Researchers and PHD students to collaborate and create compelling infographics, all within a timed 12 hour period. Having taken part in the Manchester Infohackit last year, I was excited to hear the event was making a return to the North West and I’d get to join in the fun all over again!

After being split up into teams we were tasked with quickly agreeing on a research topic and a target audience for our infographic. We decided to go with research presented by Clare Brewster on the cause and effect of farming using artificial fertilisers, nitrogen emissions and its effect on ozone-sensitive crops (specifically bread wheat).

Clare presented us with some extensive research, so the challenge from a design perspective was how we broke down that large amount of complex information and decided which parts to include without leaving out anything that compromised the research.

Creative Process

We agreed to target the infographic at global policy makers, so the information that we presented highlighted both the environmental and the economic impacts with suggestions on how to future proof wheat production by plant breeding using wild cultivars. We envisaged the infographic being used at an event to summarize a more extensive talk on the subject, as well as supplementing a more detailed fact sheet that attendees could take away.

The students had previously undergone a day’s training in Adobe Illustrator so were encouraged to put their new skills to use by getting stuck in and creating assets for the infographic. We took a collaborative approach and each focused on different sections, with an overarching graphic style in mind so we could bring it all together with a consistent visual language.

Heat Map of Production Loss by Katharine Howell
The Results

We were pulling everything together and running through the presentation right up until the final 15 mins.

The finished infographic (featured below) is going to be used in an upcoming talk by our researcher Clare Brewster, so we wanted to make sure everything was as informative as possible without overwhelming the design. Each of the students knocked it out of the park with their contributions to the final graphic and it was a pleasure working with them!

Final Infographic by: Clare Brewster, Katharine Howell, Guille Medina, Stina Jones

It was great to see everyone else’s finished infographics during the presentations too. The topics were varied, interesting and each team took a completely unique approach to how they presented the information.

You can check out more photos from the day over on the Infohackit Twitter feed.

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