Infographic Analysis:
Your Hackable House

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© User:Colin / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Your Hackable House is the title and headline of the interactive diagram for this analysis. The graphic’s intended audience is adult homeowners, renters and anyone else using or interested in using products with smart technology. A one sentence introductory explainer beneath the headline tells viewers the story is about the danger of security flaws in connected devices within their homes.

At the bottom of the page the source line tells us that information in the graphic came from iSec, Trustwave, IOActive, Kindsight Security Labs, and Great Scott Gadgets. The creators of the piece, listed in the byline, are Erica Fink, Laurie Segall and Rob Hanley from the CNN/Money department.

The infographic features an illustration of a light blue clip-art type house and garage. This provides the frame for the instructive diagram’s content. Information is presented in a part-to-whole diagram, closest in structure to the tree map on the Visual Vocabulary Designing with Data chart. The information is best presented this way because there are many products inside a smart house that can compromise a its overall safety.

Within the house are solid color icons of various household and personal belongings. Items with smart technology are a subdued blue color. All other objects are gray. Hovering the cursor over the connected items reveals a call out box containing a label and one paragraph explanation of how a hacker might gain a cyber entrance into a home through that object. Some of the callouts also have links to videos and articles about the topic allowing the viewer to delve even deeper into parts of the story that interest them.

Because Your Hackable House is interactive, it is very effective.  I liked being able to select items that I own or am most familiar with to explore.   Reading more about just those products really helped the story hold my attention.

This diagram is designed to inform and it does that well. Each call out reveals another facet of the story, several telling smaller stories. The characters in this piece are its viewers, people in the smaller stories and unnamed cyber hackers. The conflict is viewer versus cyber hackers. Clicking on smart items serve as inciting incidents moving the viewer to another part of the story. Rising action occurs as the user hovers over one possible security breach scenario after another. The resolution of the story is to take heed of its warning.

This infographic is interesting and complete as a stand-alone story.  It is successful in providing a compelling experience of the topic and is effective in informing the organization’s intended audience of the potential danger of security flaws in their devices. There is a comfortable amount of text in this well-balanced piece. A viewer does not have to read all the linked articles and videos in the callouts to comprehend the story’s importance.

In summary, Your Hackable House is a well-made infographic. The only thing I would have done differently is perhaps use brighter colors to make it a little more eye-catching.

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