The first step was to research basic information about forest fires in California. Then, I was able to confirm my initial hypothesis that the number of annual forest fires had been increasing, and I began collecting the data I found into spreadsheets to allow for quicker analysis.
I had to read through many different articles and sift through a lot of data before patterns began to emerge, but by keeping the data organized and generating graphs the story became clearer, and I was able to form a cohesive thesis for my infographics.
The final step was to create a visual presentation. I already had my charts and graphs, but I know it’s important to tell stories in ways that are compelling and interesting, so people want to learn more. I experimented with a few different visual styles before settling on a gold-orange-purple gradient with “map” elements to refer back to the issues of land and wilderness.
I completed this project as part of my master’s program, and I’m still proud of the work I did here. I learned a great deal about the best ways to synthesize large amounts of data and create information graphics. I’m able to use the skills I learned in my UX design role regularly to present user-test findings or social campaign performance, and I’m able to be more discerning about the infographics I encounter in my own life.
Dr. Claire Lauer, whose technical writing and information design class was instructive and inspiring.
© Allison Perlis 2021