The "80/20" Rule, Revisited

I've always loved graphs, as they are so effective at taking complex ideas and conveying them simply. As I was thinking recently about the relationship between the effort I put into something and the output I get as a result, a few different graphs came to mind. the "80/20" rule has been talked about a lot--the idea that there are diminishing returns to your extra efforts. But are all activities like this? I don't think so.  

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We've Been Warned

Warning signs and labels are everywhere these days, protecting us from ourselves in ways most probably never thought would be necessary. "Careful, the beverage you're about to enjoy is extremely hot" is one of my favorites. Thanks for the heads-up, Starbucks! Because of their ubiquity it's easy to become desensitized and not take them as seriously as perhaps we should.

While on vacation several years ago in Kauai I discovered a few signs that were hard to ignore.

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The New New Nutrition Label

At long last the nutrition label is getting a makeover, thanks in part to the First Lady. As someone interested in health and nutrition, I'm pretty excited. As an up and coming user experience professional I can't help but think, "what will this be like for the consumer?"  

The new information will be an asset, but the numbers-first design is still uninformative to people who can't visualize what 10 grams looks like. Here is a visual approach to helping people understand what they're eating.

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