Processes: Colour

Infogineering focusses on the Decision-Making aspect of information – and not on the entertainment side, So, when colour is used, it is not the psychological aspect that we are interested in. e.g. blue meaning formal, red meaning hot or fast.

In Infogineering, only two colours matter, because they instantly allow people to recognise something. Those colours are Red and Green.

Red means…

  • Warning
  • Pay attention
  • Outwith expected range
  • Failure

Green means…

  • Everything is okay
  • Success

An Example

Let’s say that you are the head of sales, and you want to see which of your sales people are failing to hit their targets. They have all had to sell at least 54 units a month.

First, let’s just list the people (A to G) and their monthly sales numbers. See how long it takes you to work out who needs a talking to.

A: 67
B: 52
C: 58
D: 61
E: 43
F: 87
G: 55

(Scroll down for the next part….)

Now, lets say you’ve set your spreadsheet up to automatically highlight each number depending upon if they hit their targets or not. This time, colours will be used. Again, see how long it takes to see who hit the target of 54.

A: 52
B: 66
C: 45
D: 59
E: 56
F: 60
G: 58

In this case, you can see the answer almost without having to think about it.

This is a relatively simple example, but the benefits become clear when you consider having to check thousands of figures.

The reason that this is effective is because, with the example before, you had to focus on each individual number and ask “Is this within the range?” In the second example, the computer automatically makes that conclusion for you – then presents it in a way that allows your eyes to instantly lock-on to anything that needs attention.

Red can also be used in normal text just to make sure people get a very important point. Like the Under-10-Rule for bolding, it should be used very scarcely – or it stops standing out from the rest of the text.

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