GOOD Magazine – Transparency Contest – Health Care Bill

Good Magazine excels in information graphics on social innovation. The magazine and the website both display compelling content and inspiring design.

Good Magazine is also the poster magazine for Good Mood Law. They frequently include visual stories from the legal domain. The similarity in name is unintentional, but meaningful. We are not affiliated, yet seem to be part of the same tribe of ‘visionary visualists and shapeshifters for the common good’. The look-and-feel and professional quality of the design of the Good Magazine is beyond contest, simply too good to be true. However, I also feel we are thinking, playing and experimenting in the same conceptual sandbox.

Click here to see the contributions for  the latest Transparency Contest- a rich collection of information graphics on the Health Care Bill. I will give a quick review from the Goodmoodlaw-perspective:

1. Design Haik Avinian: Great look, clear entry point with the legal provision as a headline. A smart design solution to use sunflower image as piechart, zooming in to the detail level in the form of a seed. Careful visualization of sensitive topic.

2. Designed by the Center for American Progress: My first choice. Good storytelling and easy information flow. The low tech look helps people to connect themselves to the information. A clear structure in the distinction between What, Why and How.

3. Design Nate Clancy: A good representation of the political context: financing, lobby and voting. The best representation of the financial resourcing of the bill, on the price tag in the upper right corner.

4. Design Marco Giannini: I like the concept of this map, the inclusion of many aspects, such as previous reform attempts. This richness comes with a price for the clarity and ‘punch factor’. I think the concept of Exchange  between Uninsured and Insured is a great angle as an entry point. This appeals to the ‘What’s in it for me?” question that people have around this bill.

5. Design Nicole Marie Rincon: Inviting, playful, connected information. The pills as icons are interesting. At first glance they seem to be overused, by which they lose their information value. Closer study however shows the meaning of different pills (for example the round red one for pre-existing conditions. This demonstrates that vizualizing is not the same as simplifying.  ‘Reading’ and understanding information graphics is a matter of time and concentrated attention. They have a high information density. The  clauses on pre-existing conditions show up clearly and repeatedly. The terminology on the top is very useful in legal information graphics.

5. Design Tom wilder: A crisp, attractive, one page-fact sheet. The structure of information are less clear. The placement of topics seems somewhat random. For example financial aspects are in different corners. The same font size is used for most of the numbers. There is no visual hierarchy. I would also prefer a different visual clue to distinct between numbers for people and money.

I can’t wait to find out who is the winner , which will be announced tomorrow. So far: my compliments to all submitters for taking on a meaningful and complex topic, including the legal aspects.

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