The Complexity of Simplicity

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This post, “100 Common Myths & Misconceptions: The world’s most widespread falsehoods — debunked!” from Geekwrapped represents everything I love and everything I find frustrating about communicating complex concepts simply. The infographic is visually engaging and quickly introduces 100 learning takeaways … and then … well, let’s say I am a check-the-references gal.

Using “there are no learning styles” as an example (yes, that drew my attention for a reason), if you search the post, you will find one reference for that blurb: a 182-page study originally published in 2004. I am not going to question the validity of the debunking (well, not in this forum at this moment) and I am not here to remind you to “check the facts,” as I assume most of you already have that inclination, but I will say, while infographics are a geeky pleasure, complex concepts rarely can be summed up in simple iconography or copy blurbs.

Understanding still requires the investment of time and the desire to learn from the audience — the motivation must be there. While reading this post, I kept trying to click on these items to drill down to deeper learning — and I imagine I was not alone in that reaction. Achieving understanding can always be “easier” on an audience … but can’t always be “easy.”

Here’s to great infographics that inspire a desire to read on and achieve an even deeper understanding, to audiences with a passion for learning, and to “drill-down content” that continues to make the learning experience enjoyable for diverse audiences with a variety of learning styles! (See what I did there?) 🙂

As a strategic communications agency serving science- and R&D-driven organizations, we specialize in highly technical markets where complex ideas and information must be conveyed with clarity. Our team includes writers, designers, strategists and content architects, all working together to help you reach — and engage — your internal and external audiences.

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