Best visualization (large newsrooms) – year 2020
Honorable Mention: Why your smartphone is causing you ‘text neck’ syndrome
Organisation: South China Morning Post
Country: Hong Kong S.A.R., China
Credit: Pablo Robles
Jury’s comment: The jury decided to recognize “Why your smartphone is causing you ‘text neck’ syndrome” with an honourable mention, based on its technical excellence and engaging use of graphics. The project’s narrative was clear and easy to follow and the interactive and non-interactive images interspersed among the text meant there was always something interesting to engage the reader. There were also a wide range of visual techniques used from static graphics to interactive ones, to annotated video. While there was some debate about the data behind the “text neck” syndrome the panel recognised the excellent presentation of the narrative as a whole.
Organisation size: Big
Publication date: 25 Jan 2019
Project description: Mobile phones are now generally seen as essential to our daily lives. Texting has become the way most of us communicate and has led to rapidly increasing numbers of people suffering from ‘text neck’. For our visualisation, “Why your smartphone is causing you ‘text neck’ syndrome” we researched how the angle of your neck when you look at your phone can effectively increase the weight of your head by up to 27kg. This in turn can damage posture and, if you text while walking, expose you to all kinds of dangers.
Impact: This data visualisation caused much debate on social media and was translated into Spanish and republished by Atresmedia
Techniques/technologies: We collected data about mobile phone internet access by country. Using dataviz and diagrams, graphics and our own video footage we detailed how extensive mobile phone use leads to curvature of the spine. We also recorded more than 10 hours of video to analyse how people use their mobile phones in Hong Kong when walking and crossing streets. The data confirmed the study made by the University Of Queensland. We also use data research to explore mobile phone addiction and to explain how users ‘zone out’ on their phones. We hope that our innovative storytelling will make readers aware of their own habits and understand how their actions impact those around them as well as themselves.
The hardest part of this project: We also recorded more than 10 hours of video footage of mobile phone use on the streets of Hong Kong to corroborate an academic study from the University Of Queensland. We pepper the story with short videos to demonstrate how peripheral vision is restricted when using mobile phones, how your gait changes and to illustrate the dangers people pose while texting and walking in the street and using public transport.
What can others learn from this project: We believe this data visualisation helps make readers aware of their own habits and understand how their actions impact those around them as well as themselves.