About

Randy Krum infographic designerRandy Krum

President of InfoNewt.
Data Visualization, Infographic Design, Visual Thinking, Product Development and Marketing professional fascinated by good infographics.  Always looking for better ways to get the point across.

Infographic Design

Looking for help creating your own infographics?  Randy’s infographic and data visualziation design company:

InfoNewt Infographic Design

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Caffeine Poster

The Caffeine Poster infographic

Google Insights

Tuesday
May132014

Marketing FAIL: Infographics Hidden Behind Registration Walls

There’s a growing marketing practice that I think is a huge marketing mistake. I’ve seen a number of infographics being published by companies that require the reader to enter their name, email address and other contact information before they can even view the design. This “registration wall” is a way for marketers to gather the contact information from the readers so they can send out additional marketing emails later. In my opinion, publishing an infographic behind a registration wall just doesn’t make any sense.

Here’s an example of what you might see on one of these registration wall pages:

Infographics Registration Wall Fail Example

I completely understand putting valuable content behind a registration wall as a method to capture the contact information from potential leads. I get it.  Assuming the hidden content is closely related to the company’s business, the audience interested in that content is likely to represent a pool of potential customers. If they’re willing to give up their valuable email address to gain access to that content, they are probably a fairly strong potential customer (or a competitor checking out your valuable content!).

However, infographics are the wrong type of content to use for this purpose. The companies I see that are hiding infographics behind registration walls are missing the benefit of infographics, which is to deliver easy to understand information to the audience in a format that’s also easy to share because it’s completely contained within the image file.

First, online infographics are meant to be shared. Infographics are popular online for two reasons, easy to understand information and easy to share. Much easier than text articles or blog posts. As soon as one reader shares the hidden infographic image file on their blog or posts it in social media, the infographic is released to the public and available to everyone without registering. Even if you ask people not to share it publicly, the accepted practice online is to freely share infographics.

Second, the research commissioned by Janrain from 2012 indicates that 86% of people may leave a website when asked to create an account. Most of the audience will just leave instead of going through with the registration process to gain access to the infographic. They never see the infographic, never read the data and never hear the message. 

Lost Infographic Audience

Third, the search engines can’t see past the registration wall. No keywords, no meta-data, no text. The search engines can’t index the content behind the registration wall, so your infographic won’t show up in search results. Only the short, publicly accessible teaser information on the registration page has any chance of being indexed to appear in results.

Here’s what I recommend. Use a compelling infographic as a top level summary of the more detailed content you put behind the registration wall. All of the people that share your infographic, are effectively advertising your more detailed information. You could even make the infographic landing page on your website also the registration page to get more information.  

This way the infographics are available publicly to view and share, and the free content draws in readers to the registration page. The truly interested readers will also give you their contact information to gain access to the more-detailed report or white paper that you have available behind the registration wall.  Now you have built your brand credibility with a widely shared infographic, and you have gathered a pool of potentially valuable leads.

For more statistics and information about registration walls, check out The Registration Challenge infographic from Janrain:

The Registration Challenge infographic

How to Solve the Online Registration Challenge infographic published by Janrain in 2012.

How often have you become frustrated filling out online registration forms? There is a better way. Janrain has compiled data on some of the most challenging aspects of online registration forms and simple solutions to improve the user experience…and conversion rates.

Friday
May092014

Comics That Ask "What If?"

Randall Monroe, author of my favorite web comic XKCD, gave a great TEDTalk about answering science and math questions with his comics.  One of the best parts of this video, and the web comic series in general, is that he uses hand-drawn data visualizations and illustrations to answer them, which makes them easier to understand.

Web cartoonist Randall Munroe answers simple what-if questions (“what if you hit a baseball moving at the speed of light?”) using math, physics, logic and deadpan humor. In this charming talk, a reader’s question about Google’s data warehouse leads Munroe down a circuitous path to a hilariously over-detailed answer — in which, shhh, you might actually learn something.

Pre-order or watch for his new book, “What If?” to be released in September 2014!

Wednesday
May072014

The Dead Zones: When Not to Post on Social Media

The Dead Zones: When Not to Post on Social Media infographic

 

The Dead Zones: When Not to Post on Social Media infographic from SumAll takes a look at the the worst times to post content on social media.

Now that everyone knows the best times to post on social media – and if you don’t, take a look at our infographic for a refresher–we started thinking about the flip side to the golden hours: the dead zones.

We researched what hours of the day your post will be seen by the fewest number of people and collected them all into this infographic. Beware.

Tell one story really well is one of the keys to a successful infographic, and this design does just that!

Here’s their prior infographic about the BEST times to post for comparison:

BEST times to post on social media infographic

 

Tuesday
May062014

An Illustrated Guide to the Biggest Dragons

An Illustrated Guide to the Biggest Dragons infographic

A fantastic size comparison chart, An Illustrated Guide to the Biggest Dragons infographic was published by The Daily Dot, and designed by Max Fleishman and Fernando Alfonso III.

George R.R. Martin, whose A Song of Ice and Fire novels are the basis for Game of Thrones, is currently writing a companion guide to the books, called A World of Ice and Fire. He’s recently published an extract of this guide on his blog, chronicling the history of the Targaryen invasion of Westeros, which took place several hundred years before the events of the books and the show. 

It’s got some badass dragon art, too. You can see Aegon the Conqueror standing astride his dragon mount, Balerion, the “Black Dread.” Turns out these dragons get really freaking big.

But seeing this picture got us thinking. Just how big is this dragon, and how does this bode for Daenerys’s own dragons? And how does it measure up to other famous fictional fire-breathers?

A great data visualization, but it’s missing some elements of a good sharable infographic.  Where it comes up short is that the infographic will be often shared without the rest of the text article originally published on The Daily Dot.  It needs to be able to stand independently, so the infographic image file itself should include the following:

  • A title
  • A short description of information included
  • Credit the designers
  • The URL back to the original article
  • Data sources?
  • A copyright?

I love that they also published a revised version that fits in vertical blog layouts better:

An Illustrated Guide to the Biggest Dragons vertical infographic

Found on Geekologie and Flowing Data

Monday
May052014

The Explosive Growth of Cloud Computing

The Explosive Growth of Cloud Computing infographic

Cloud computing is definitely a growing trend. Are you in the position to enjoy all of what cloud computing has to offer? The Explosive Growth of Cloud Computing infographic from Eclipse lets you know what you could be missing if you don’t join their network. 

Now is the time to get on the growth curve of cloud services as we are seeing ever-increasing demand for these services – look at how they have developed in the home with subscription services such as Netflix and Love Film. There is a real on-demand economy and as a result, a new, smarter way of working.

So, if it’s time to investigate cloud services for your business it’s also time to look at your connectivity partner, and a partner who provides both connectivity and cloud services will know exactly what you need to ensure a robust internet connection. Look for a partner who is prepared to really understand your business needs and the role of both the cloud and connectivity in those needs; a partner that will tailor-make solutions to your exact business requirements and stay away from the one-size-fits-all mantra; and a partner who provides a high service assurance accompanied by easily accessible monitoring systems so you can be ‘in the know’ regarding your network’s performance.

Great use of doughnut charts, bar charts, logos and icons to tells the story of the growth of cloud computing.

Thanks to David for sending in the link!

Friday
May022014

The Deadliest Animal in the World

The Deadliest Animal in the World is an infographic posted by Bill Gates on his blog as part of Mosquito Week.

What would you say is the most dangerous animal on Earth? Sharks? Snakes? Humans?

Of course the answer depends on how you define dangerous. Personally I’ve had a thing about sharks since the first time I saw Jaws. But if you’re judging by how many people are killed by an animal every year, then the answer isn’t any of the above. It’s mosquitoes.

When it comes to killing humans, no other animal even comes close. Take a look:

Considering their impact, you might expect mosquitoes to get more attention than they do. Sharks kill fewer than a dozen people every year and in the U.S. they get a week dedicated to them on TV every year. Mosquitoes kill 50,000 times as many people, but if there’s a TV channel that features Mosquito Week, I haven’t heard about it.

This infographic does a number of things right from a design perspective, but the major point is that as humans we see the two-dimensional area of objects as representing the values.  This design uses both the width and height of the rectangles to visualize the scale of deaths caused by the various animals.

Sometimes it might be too subtle.  For example, the width is the same for the rectangles for tapeworms and crocodiles, but the height of the tapeworm box has twice the height to represent the value correctly.

The other thing it does well is to tell one story really well.  There’s isn’t any extraneous information like geographic locations or animal populations.  The infographic focuses on communicating one set of data.

Because the infographic will be shared online without the rest of the article, there are three piece of information that are missing from this design:

  1. The Gates Notes logo, or some type of identification of who published the infographic
  2. A copyright or Creative Commons license state to clearly identify the rights for people sharing the infographic
  3. The URL of the article where readers can find the original, full-size infographic and the associated text.

Thanks to Peter for recommending the link!

Friday
Apr252014

Every Job In America

Every Job In America infographic

Every Job In America is a treemap data visualization design from Quoctrung Bui at NPR based on the data that the U.S. government collects for the monthly Jobs Report.  I think I probably fit somewhere in the Services-Professional and Technical Services-Specialized Design section.

Whatever Friday’s monthly jobs report says, it won’t change the big picture. There are roughly 137 million jobs in this country. About two-thirds of those jobs are in private-sector services; the remaining third are split between goods-producing jobs (mainly manufacturing and construction) and government work (mostly at the state and local level).

Here’s a closer look, drawn from the same data that the government collects for the monthly jobs report.

Notes: 
*The data come from the government’s non-farm payroll report — which, as the name suggests, does not include farm jobs. Update: The report also excludes military personnel, government intelligence employees and some self-employed workers.

There isn’t much I would change about this design.  The treemap visualization is well done, and carefully organized to allow for the color coding rectangles.  Titles are missing from any rectangle that was too small to hold the text, but a smaller font could have been used, or a reference to a list at the bottom.

Even though this is part of an article posting, the infographic image itself has a title for easy sharing without the rest of the article.  Including a few other elements in the image file like the data sources and the URL to the landing page would be very helpful.

This is the type of project where I think a link to a public spreadsheet with the numbers used would be helpful.  The article links to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics press releases, but then someone would have to dig through the reports.

Thursday
Apr242014

Smart Ways to Combine Content Marketing With SEO

Smart Ways to Combine Content Marketing With SEO infographic

The Smart Ways to Combine Content Marketing With SEO infographic is essentially a big list of the most popular online services in a number of different categories.  Published by blogmost, it’s meant as a reference tool for Marketers to help plan out their content strategies.

Trying to build High Quality Links without paying anyone? This infographic reveals techniques to build them and complete details of good website + mentioned Great SEO & SMO tools for better Marketing.

No data or numbers, the most prominent sites and companies are shown for 26 different online service categories.  The randomness of circle sizes appears to visualize some type of information, but there’s no data behind them.  It’s just the designer sizing them to fit the different logos and icons.

The design does a fantastic job of using logos and icons in place of text.  This makes the overall design faster and easier for the audience to read through.  It’s a much more enjoyable experience than reading the text name of all the different companies, brands and sites.

Some description at the top would be helpful to describe how the sites were chosen for readers that find the infographic on other sites.  The URL of the infographic Landing Page on the blogmost site in the footer would also be helpful for the readers to be able to find the original full-size version and associated text.

Found on Visual.ly

Wednesday
Apr232014

11 Essential Ingredients Every Blog Post Needs

11 Essential Ingredients Every Blog Post Needs infographic

If every blog followed the 11 Essential Ingredients Every Blog Post Needs in this infographic, they would be much more successful. From opening with a bang to killer bullet points, this infographic uses intriguing words to increase the uniqueness of it’s take home message. Created by copyblogger.

So. You think you’ve got yourself a good blog post.

You chose your writing style. You knocked out the first draft. You allowed it to sit for an hour or a day.

Now it’s time to edit that bad dog — ruthlessly. So that it has a fighting chance in the trenches.

You’ll want to pay attention to the details like avoiding goofy, but common,grammar mistakes. You’ll want to choose your words carefully so you say what you mean.

This will allow you to shed excess copy so that you have a lean, muscular article.

But you’re not done. You also must ensure that your blog post has all of the essential ingredients it needs.

Ingredients like these, as presented in this infographic by our lead designer Rafal Tomal. Print it, pin it, but whatever you do … use it.

No numbers or data, but this well-designed infographic clearly walks the reads through a sequence of tips for blog post writing.  Illustrations help relate to each point, and make them more memorable, but I don’t understand a few of them (Why does an alien UFO abduction represent a good subhead?  I would have like to see some statistics to back up why there are good blogging tips.

Yay!  The URL in the footer takes readers straight to the infographic landing page on the copyblogger site, which makes it easy for everyone to find the original infographic and the supporting article.

 

Found on Google+ and Reviews N Tips

Monday
Apr212014

Choosing a Social Media Platform

Choosing a Social Media Platform infographic

Released about a year ago, the Choosing The Most Effective Social Media Platforms infographic was published by Edge Media and designed by Infographics.SG.  Photos, video, articles or text?  Depending on the type of content you are generating, your choices for effective social platforms are different.

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn. Etc. So many social media platforms. And so little time. (And manpower. And ideas.) 

There are costs involved to maintaining a social presence. It is vital for brands / companies / organisations to market on the right platform(s) in order to optimize their resource allocation. 

Use this infographic to help you choose the most efficient social media platform(s) according to factors like your goals, target audience and capabilities.

 The design includes a good mix of data visualization methods and the bold colors are eye catching to the audience.  However, some of the charts are difficult to understand.  The polar grid used for the “What Do You Aim To Achieve?” section does not clearly communicate the information to the readers.  I also the the colors should have been color-coded to be relevant to the specific social media brand colors. 

They also leveraged the infographic content into a SlideShare presetnation.  This allows them to utilize the content they already created on another social platform to reach a different audience.

 

Thanks to Brian for posting on Google+