Randy Krum    Designer | Author | Instructor | Speaker

Randy Krum

Designer | Author | Instructor | Speaker


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Broken Appliances: Repair or Replace?

Broken Appliances: Repair or Replace?

Broken Appliances: Repair or Replace? infographic

PartSelect.com brings us a cool, interactive infographic that helps customers evaluate what to do with their Broken Appliances: Repair or Replace?  Obviously a design from an appliance parts retailer showing customers why they should buy repair parts instead of replacing their appliances, but it’s really good information and doesn’t feel like a hard sell.  It is actually very valuable information for consumers.


We created this diagnostic infographic to troubleshoot some of the common problems that affect household appliances. Clicking on the pulsing dots shows each common issue and the parts required to correct the problem. Many people replace an entire appliance, which is neither cost-effective nor environmentally responsible. We displayed the average cost of replacing the appliance as well as the cost of the parts required to fix the problem (and a scale of the difficulty of the repair).

I really like the design that places the replacement parts radially around the applicances.  The color coding for cost and difficulty also works well, but it would have been better without the legend (“Legends are Evil”).  Without the 1-2-3 as the text in the arc, it could have easily said Easy-Difficult-Very Difficult in the arcs.

Apparently the length of the arcs doesn’t have any meaning, although it looks like it should.  They are just designed long enough to fit the text and the images.


Figure 1 - Layering of the symptoms animation

In addition, PartSelect posted a lengthy, thorough post about the interactive infographic development process they went through.  This is fantastic!  While I may not agree with all of the decisions they made along the way, this type of transparency and under-the-hood information is what helps build credibility and trust with customers.

The Interactive Infographic Process

The process now looks like:

Project Manager decides to make an infographic with some data.Project Manager brings on board a Programmer and Designer.Project Manager must decide on the balance of technology vs audience, based on discussions with the team.Designer fleshes out some rough concepts.The team meets to discuss; each has specific input:Project Manager: vision and potential target audiences.Designer: design concepts and how to make it clean.Programmer: what is possible. Ideas based on what the technology can do which PM and designer may not be aware of.Designer creates fleshed out design.Team meets again and iterates over designs until everybody happy.Programmer puts together technical spec on how it will be built, which will influence deliverables from designer.Designer sends across deliverables decided by programmer.Programmer builds the first functional version.Team meets and probably iterates and refines design in same process.

Thanks to Stephen for sending in the link!

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