The Mozilla Foundation commissioned me to define the visual language and create all of the illustrations for their Winter 2019 Internet Health Report. This edition focuses on the Internet of Things and the ways smart devices collect, store and process the data of their users.
The key guideline from the team was to make sure the visuals look bold and striking, while avoiding a dark, dread-inducing vision of the topic. I created the cover image, as well as an infographic showcasing the five different decisions made by makers of IoT devices, two articles, and four spot illustrations.
When choosing the color palette, I used Mozilla’s brand colors as a starting point. Their electric blue was perfect for rendering IoT devices. I subsequently settled on warm oranges, yellows, and greens as supplementary colors and an electric purple as the background, for a bright, bold aesthetic.
The report’s accessibility was important to the whole team, and I approached color with that in mind, making sure all visuals would read well to people with color blindness, and making separate black and white versions for those wanting to print it out on their home printers.
5 key decisions for every smart device
Smart device makers face a plethora of design decisions at every step of the process. We, as consumers, can use the same five categories to evaluate IoT devices and their producers: do we trust their commitment to create a more open, inclusive, and long-lasting piece of technology?
This infographic is accompanied by an extensive write-up that helps consumers judge devices for themselves. I added on the animation myself, as part of a further exploration of the medium.
How smart homes could be wiser
The client wanted me to illustrate a four-legged chair metaphor, with the legs standing for the concepts of Privacy, Security, Interoperability, and Sustainability. Without either of the legs, the chair and its user would collapse to the floor. The editorial team and I settled on the drawing of a perspective-bending chair: each side working fine when seen from a single perspective, yet untenable when taken in all at once.
I also created four spot illustrations for the section urging device makers to be more conscious of the implications of their design decisions.
Securing the Internet of Things
What are the implications of so many connected devices living in our homes? What effects have real-world users already experienced and what’s to come?