Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand | Audio

Episode 93: I Spy, You Spy

Jessica and Michael discuss visual surveillance and how Bellingcat cracked the Skripal case by corroborating information using ordinary photographs from uninvolved bystanders from sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google Street View.

The era where anyone can be a visual investigator full of possibilities both empowering and troubling, Michael says:
There’s something so seductive about it. And as designers, you learn early on the power of permitting the audience to connect the dots as opposed to connecting it for them, right? And how persuaded people are their conclusion if they are able to line up a bunch of things and feel, Oh, these all really do go together. Their conviction about what's true and what's not true is much stronger when they feel they came to that conclusion independently. And I think it's really easy to come to potentially multiple conclusions based on the same, or just slightly conflicting, information.

Also mentioned this week:
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