It’s a crappy job, talking about toilets. It’s hard enough to get people interested in curing disease or providing clean water. Bring defecation into the equation, and interrelated as it may be to so many other critical aspects of life in developing countries, you’ve already lost your audience.
Rather than talking around the problem, this interactive infographic, created by WINTR for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, openly makes mention of “poop” and “crap” complete with an emoji-like turd at its center. You’ll also note liberal use of the color brown. The four-panel design is super simple to follow. And as you click to see solutions, a blue color shift flushes away problems like an automated toilet bowl cleaner.
The image will also teach you everything you ever needed to know about redesigning the sanitation industry. With ⅔ of the world using latrines or using no bathroom at all, 80% of all human waste making its way back into water supplies, and with the current cost of sewage systems running a massive $1,000 per person, things seem pretty bleak. But at an investment of about 5 cents per use, toilets in developing countries can generate 45 cents in economic benefits (a figure that might seem preposterous until you realize that it directly impacts the health care industry).
It’s a smart graphic about a graphic topic, one that, rather than polishing a turd, just shows us the turd, and in doing so reminds us that, yes, everybody poops.