Interactive infographics for communicating sustainability : Use of an interactive infographic in explaining a complex sustainability framework for companies

University essay from Mälardalens universitet/Akademin för innovation, design och teknik

Abstract: The natural world is under immense and increasing pressure caused by human activity. The adjustment from a state of declining nature to a more sustainable world requires changes of social and economic activities by individuals, societies, and the private sector. There are some initiatives to assist companies in the development of more sustainable practices in their operations and their value chains that are often complex and require dedicated communication efforts. Information graphics can be an efficient multimodal method for the communication of complex information. Adding interactivity to infographics can also promote a user’s curiosity and engagement. In this study, I produced an interactive infographic using principles of human-centred design, that helps explaining a sustainability framework with illustrated example actions that companies can take in their transformation towards sustainability in their direct operations, their value chains, and associated natural environments. The sustainability actions in the framework are categorised depending on their effect on the environment: from reducing the impacts on nature, to promoting recovery and restoration of natural environment and transforming business models and attitudes. An interactive infographic format can facilitate the understanding of these different actions by combining appealing novel images, text, and the possibility to filter information on demand. The desired effect of the infographic is to be informative, to be relevant to real-life companies, and to inspire companies to learn more about sustainability methods and start their journey towards a better future. I performed usability tests and user experience surveys to obtain qualitative data to evaluate the functioning of the artefact and its desired effects. The results suggests that the infographic is informative, relevant and succeeds in engaging users in the subject of sustainability. The results also showed that functionality is an aspect of these kind of design artefacts that users value for a better experience.

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