I had earlier written about using simple (simpler) language and framing devices to communicate complex topics, particularly in B2B communication. I had cited Infosys Prize’s effort (that I had kickstarted as a thought process, while working at Edelman, with Infosys Prize as the client) as a great example towards this effort.
Here’s another fantastic effort from Infosys on similar lines, called InfyToons.
This time (as I see it, they started this exercise at the end of April 2019), they have used cartoons laced with sarcasm and wit as a way to disarm complex topics like ERP, Cloud, Agile, Digital Transformation etc. It doesn’t trivialize the topics, and instead offers intelligent sarcasm to make a point.
These themes have been heavily jargonized by the B2B brands that work on them… to the point that they have become a parody by themselves.
Now, why does this effort from Infosys work?
One, they have roped in one of the best creative minds to handle the visual and wit part of the communication – Tom Fishburne, of Marketoonist fame. He’s very well known in the business circles, with his unique style of visualization (like Randy Glasbergen or Hugh MacLeod of GapingVoid fame). If the objective was to endear Infosys’ services on those themes with Western buyers/audiences, the choice of Tom is the first great step. His visual style’s familiarity would open the door very fast.
In comparison, if they had used an unknown, or local (Indian artist), the quality of visual and wit have to be extraordinarily good for them to earn attention or visibility on their own (which is not impossible, of course, but if there’s an easier, faster way, why not choose that?).
Next, these toons serve as a quick introduction to the topic. They don’t tell the whole story – they are the hook, to get the relevant buyers/people interested to know Infosys’ point of view on a related topic.
Then, these toons fit brilliantly within the social media content spectrum. Including LinkedIn. They break the clutter on busy social media timelines, while actually communicating something of meaning on a complex topic, with sensible and contextual humor. Again, a great hook via social media, into the relevant content page.
If I have a quibble (it’s a minor one), it’s the way these toons are presented in the Infosys website.
If you see the desktop interface, it presumes that audiences want these toons to be served in the form of a foldable/scrollable book.
At least with the screen real estate available in the desktop/laptop screen interface, that makes some remote sense. But, on the mobile? Page-turn as a UX design seems at odds with a decidedly evolved device like a mobile phone.
Such a UX, I reckon, is a vestige of outdated thinking. There is perhaps no need to offer such high-quality and highly engaging communication in such an awkward design for UX. Why not simpler ‘click here for next’ icons? Or, why not innovate with the page turn/scroll methodology? For example, ‘Shake up your thinking on agile! Shake the phone to read more!’.
The ‘Drag the corners to flip through the pages’ seems particularly clunky and clumsy on a mobile screen. And, on both mobile and desktop versions, they appear with an ugly book-spine effect in the middle, for no apparent reason.
But, as I said, this is a minor quibble on an otherwise excellent idea.