Hannah Fairfield, Graphics Editor at the New York Times, just ended her presentation, which will get covered in another post. But let’s take this videobite up now – because that is the first time during the summit a presenter got spontaneously applauded for a bold statement.
Hannah answered whether New York Times did research into the perceptions of users regarding the sometimes very complex graphics they do. And after the direct answer, she went on to defend the right to innovate and experiment, to take risks – and ultimately the right to fail:
-‘There will be moments in the future. I think we all need to – we need to try new things – we need to experiment. We need to fail! – In order to become better at what we do. And I think the idea, that you don’t try something because maybe it is too complex or because some readers won’t understand it – I don’t think that’s a good idea.
I think we need to – we need to strive. To get new forms out there. To get new parts of visual language out there. They’re not all gonna step – I don’t think anybody else is gonna go and create the moviegraph that – with the different variable – you know that’s one that was intriguing, but it’s not going to be a new part of our visual language.
But I think that we – everybody in this room – has taken risks and has created new pieces of visual language. Whether it be certain mapmaking or whether it be certain charting. These are process-use and visualizations that never existed before.
We’re inventors – we’re creators. And that’s the most important thing about what we do. And I think we should welcome failure every once in a while.’
Hannah Fairfield for president 😉 So nice to hear someone with a real passion for the infographics.