About
Randy Krum infographic designerRandy Krum
President of InfoNewt.
Data Visualization and Infographic Design

Infographic Design

Infographics Design | Presentations
Consulting | Data Visualizations

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NEXT EVENT: December 5, 2016

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Caffeine Poster

The Caffeine Poster infographic

Thursday
Jan072016

Three Simple Resolutions to Design Better DataViz

Welcome back to the office! You’re back to work in the new year with energy and ambitions of doing better work than you’ve ever done before. Very quickly though, you fall back into the old routine and find yourself making the same charts and the same presentation slides as always. There are tight deadlines, pressure from your boss, and it’s just easier to use the templates.

Let me offer a few simple resolutions that can make your content and business communication significantly better this year.

Visualize Your Data

Visuals are so much more powerful than text and numbers. I can’t tell you how many presentations and infographics I see from lazy designers that just make the numbers really big.

“Big fonts are NOT data visualizations!”

Picture Superiority Effect infographic

Our brains process visual information faster and more easily than text, and visual information is 650% more likely to be remembered by your audience than text alone (Brain Rules, John Medina, 2009). If you want to communicate a clear message, and you want your audience to remember that message, make it visual.

Visualize Your Data infographic

Look at these two statistics. They could be on a presentation slide, in a report, or included in an infographic. Your eye is drawn to the visualized number on the left, with both a doughnut chart and an illustration of the concept of GPS location. You as the reader are more likely to remember that statistic on the left than the number on the right, which just shows the stat in a big font size.

Remove Chart Legends

It’s frustrating that the most popular charting software in the world, Microsoft Office, always includes a chart legend by default. The “tyranny of the default” is that most designers will just accept it, and not improve their charts. It’s your responsibility as the dataviz designer to make your charts as easy as possible to understand.

Legends that are separate from the visualization of the data make your readers work much harder, looking back and forth between the data and the legend, to understand your visualization. Make understanding your data visualization much faster and easier by moving the data descriptions into the chart itself, and connected to the actual data.

Remove Chart Legends infographic

Here you can see the default column chart created by PowerPoint on the left, and an improved version on the right. In this example, I removed the chart legend and added the data descriptions below each column. To add a visual element, I also added stock icons to visually represent the age groups as images on top of the chart. These chart improvements only took 10 minutes to create, and the chart is much easier to read.

Try New Ways to Visualize Your Data

You do want your audience to remember your data, right? You’re trying to help them make better decisions based on your information, and for that to be successful they have to be able to remember your data. Purchase decisions, voting decisions, health decisions, financial decisions, business decisions, and many more are all impacted by the information people have, and can remember.

Breaking out of the Big 3 charts is tough. Bar charts, line charts and pie charts (the Big 3) make up most of the dataviz in the world. However, they can also make your data look like everyone else’s. In order for visuals to be memorable to your audience the visuals need to be unique and different.

Visualizing Percentages infographic

Consider a single percentage statistic: 36%. A percentage is actually two numbers in comparison. Your data value as it compares to 100%. Pie charts are the most common way to visualize a percentage, but there are easily more than 25 different ways to visualize this statistic.

Visit sites these sites to discover new ways to visualize your data:

Design Better DataViz This Year

I ask you to make your own resolution to improve your charts and dataviz designs this year. Start with the three resolutions above, and start communicating data more effectively.

Wednesday
Jan062016

Christmas Quiz: 10 Most Popular Stories

Christmas Quiz: 10 Most Popular Stories infographic

How well do you think you know your Christmas stories? Especially now immediately after the holidays?  Take the Christmas Quiz: 10 Most Popular Stories by Unplag and see how many you can guess right! 

Have you ever resorted to the Internet for Christmas must-do lists? Obviously, this thing can stand you in good stead to timely cope with holiday chores. Aside from stocking stuffers and holiday menus, you need to take care of leisure time activities too. So, why not add a quiz with the most popular Christmas stories to your list? Unplag created the one especially for you! It’s high time to remember the admired plots and characters and find out if you can guess all of them.

The creators of this infographic were quite creative. They told 10 of the most popular Christmas stories with a minimal amount of icons and illustrations! Do you think they choose the right ones? Would you have told the stories differently? Either way, this infographic is a fun holiday quiz to play with family and friends. 

Thanks to Anastasia for sending in the link!

Wednesday
Dec302015

Designing Infographics That Last

The web is inundated with new content on an hourly basis. So much so that it can be hard for any content to stand out. Readers have an attention span shorter than a goldfish! With trending hashtags, sponsored posts and the brevity of posting with fewer than 140 characters, hot trending topics often play a factor in the success of your infographics. But it doesn’t have to. 

While we’re busy flitting from one project to the next, always looking ahead, it’s possible to lose track of our content once it has passed the design phase. But the long-term success of your content relies on more than just good design. I define the Online Lifespan of your infographic as the amount of time it remains relevant to the audience, and it plays a huge role in the measurable success of your content. 

First, you need to determine your project’s goals. What is your goal for this infographic? Are you looking for a short-term boost in traffic? Or are you looking to post content that readers will view and share for years to come? 

Sometimes your infographic works with an online lifespan somewhere in between. For example, the annual “Death & Taxes” poster visualizes the Federal Budget and has a lifespan of a year before its information becomes outdated when a new budget is released.

Death and Taxes poster infographic

SOURCE: Timeplots

If you’re looking for longevity, however, choosing a lasting topic for your content can work to your advantage. Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • More bang for your buck: It essentially costs you the same amount of time and resources to design an infographic with a short online lifespan as it would for a design with a long lifespan. You spend the same amount of time and effort in your design and research, but gain two very different results.
  • Visibility: No one will be searching for the Top 10 Christmas Traditions in 2015 after December 25, 2015, so all of your traffic needs to happen within a short period of time. A longer-lasting way to frame this infographic would be to create a timeline of Christmas traditions over the last few hundred years. Although this isn’t typically “evergreen” content, you’ll see a resurgence of traffic every year around Christmas time. Without a hard end-date, your infographics can live on driving views, backlinks and social shares for years to come.

History of Christmas Traditions infographic

SOURCE: Balsam Hill

  • Less maintenance: Once you’ve created a piece of evergreen content, there’s little to no maintenance necessary to keep your content relevant.

While there are situations where trendy and timely content can work in your favor, creating content with a longer online lifespan can lead to longer lasting success. It all comes down to the topic choice and the type of data.

Selecting your topic is the most important factor in determining the online lifespan of your infographic. Jumping on a breaking news topic is a great way to get your client some quick visibility, but does little to increase its long-term exposure. However, coming up with truly evergreen content like the infographic below will keep your content relevant long after you’ve created it. 

Wine and Food Pairing Chart infographic

SOURCE: Wine Folly

Keep these goals in mind when selecting a topic for your next infographic. A blend of trending topics and evergreen content can build a very robust content strategy.

Tuesday
Dec292015

Where The USA Gets Its Oil

Where The USA Gets Its Oil infographic

Two data visualization maps from Aschere Energy Education that show Where The USA Gets Its Oil.

The area cartogram created with a Gastner-Newman diffusion based algorithm is used to resize the countries above. It's a fun and unusual visualization method that stands out and gets attention because it breaks our usual understanding of the world map.

The second map uses the 3D heights of the countries and color-coding to represent the oil & petroleum exports to the U.S.

Thanks to Joe for sending in the link!

Thursday
Dec242015

The Logistics of Santa Claus

The Logistics of Santa Claus infographic

The Logistics of Santa Claus infographic from Go Supply Chain takes a fun look at what it would take for a modern shipping company to achieve the magic deliveries that Santa makes every year.

Ever wondered how Santa Claus does it all?  In the festive spirit our logistics consultants decided to investigate.  This fun infographic explores the options (besides Santa's sleigh) that could be used. We hope that you enjoy this infographic.

A good content strategy is to tie your business in with a holiday or major event. This keep the topic relevant to your business and entertaining to your audience.

However, this design has a few major flaws! First, the pie charts are both bad. They add up to 173% and 167%, which is just bad data visualization design. Pie charts MUST always add up to a grand total of 100%. If we assume the data is correct, this type of data should never have been visualized as a pie chart.

Second, a number of the statistics are shown in text only. This misses the biggest advantage of infographics, which is an opportunity to visualize data for your audience. If you're not going to visualize the data, you might as well just post a text article instead.

Third, where are the data sources? Where is the copyright or Creative Commons license? Where is the URL to the company website and the infographic landing page?

Fourth, I can't find the full-size original online anywhere. It was posted on their blog at a smaller size which makes some of the text very hard to read. Their post should have linked to the full-size version.

This is a fun, engaging topic, but the infographic execution fall short.

Thanks to David for sending in the link.

 

Wednesday
Dec232015

Old vs. New Graphic Design

The Ultimate Battle- Old vs New- Graphic Design infographic

The New Media Company has created the infographic The Ultimate Battle: Old vs New Graphic Design to explore 8 different aspects of graphic design and compare how the methods have changed through the years.

Are you an old school or a newbie designer?  

If you have ever worked in a Design Studio you will have experienced the constant conflict between “Old” and “New” Design... 

You know the ones: "Quark is better than InDesign", "We didn't have the internet in my day." Here we take a look back at some of the tools that older designers used to use and compare them to todays modern technologies. 

Fun variation on the side-by-side comparison infographic style.

Thanks to Danielle for sending in the link!

Tuesday
Dec222015

The 5 Most Common On-Page SEO Issues

The 5 Most Common On-Page SEO Issues infographic

The Site Auditor tool from Raven Tools has discovered The 5 Most Common On-Page SEO Issues. Of interest to infographic designers and publishers is that 78% of all issues were image related. That means after all that time spent researching and designing a good infographic, most people fall short when they publish them online.

We recently realized we had access to a landfill of valuable on-page SEO data, so we started digging. We then released our 2015 study analyzing on-page SEO issues.

The infographic is an ideal teaching aid when explaining on-page SEO to prospects and clients. Feel free to use it where you’d like. Above are the 5 most common on-page SEO issues, as well as how to fix each issue.

1. Image Optimization Issues

2. Duplicate Content Issues

3. Meta Description Issues

4. Structured Data Issues

5. Link Issues

You have to craft a good infographic landing page whne publishing an infographic! I teach this in my workshops and classes at SMU CAPE, and there is a whole chapter dedicated to the right way to publish infographics in my book, Cool Infographics.

Found on www.searchrank.com

Monday
Dec212015

The Data Science Industry: Who Does What?

The Data Science Industry: Who Does What? infographic

Where's the "Data Visualizer"?!? The data science occupation is a very popular new career field that many companies are hiring; however, many of these titles are mistakenly used interchangeably. The Data Science Industry: Who Does What? infographic from The Data Camp Blog introduces some of the positions in this upcoming field.

In this infographic we compare the roles of data scientists, data analysts, data architects, data engineers, statisticians and many more. We have a look at their roles within companies and the data science process, what technologies they have mastered, and what the typical skill set and mindset is for each role. Furthermore, we look at the top employers that are currently hiring these different data science roles and how the average national salaries of these roles map out against each other.

Good, thorough source reference links. Needs a copyright statement and the URL to the infographic landing page on the DataCamp site so readers can find the original full-size version.

Found on MarketingProf

Monday
Dec142015

DataViz Gift Guide 2015

Some of the best DataViz themed gifts for the holiday season, with some great deals and discounts as well.

BOOKS

DataViz Gift Guide 2015 Books

 

POSTERS

DataViz Gift Guide 2015 Posters

  • Timeplots.com - 20% OFF all infographic posters, Discount Code “coolinfo”
  • HistoryShots - Check out PopWaves, the updated History of Pop/Rock Music poster!
  • Pop Chart Lab - Running a 12-Days of Christmas sale in December

 

TOOLS

DataViz Gift Guide 2015 Tools

  • Visme.co - Free trial, 40% OFF first payment (monthly or yearly subscription), Discount Code “COOL40”
  • The Noun Project - Free with attribution or $9.99/month unlimited. Creating, Sharing and Celebrating the World’s Visual Language
  • IBM Watson Analytics - Free & Paid editions. Predictive analytics and data visualization. Analyze your data in minutes on your own without downloading software.

 

TRAINING

DataViz Gift Guide 2015 Training

 

CONFERENCES

DataViz Gift Guide 2015 Conferences

What else would you add to your DataViz wish list?

Tuesday
Dec082015

The Global Carbon Budget 2015

The Global Carbon Budget 2015 infographic

The Global Carbon Budget 2015 full report and infographic have just been released this week.

You can also download the infographic as a HiRes JPG or PDF

Emissions from fossil fuels and industry grew 0.6% in 2014 and are projected to decline by -0.6% in 2015. This marks a break in the rapid emissions growth of 2.4% the previous decade.

The great infographic was designed by Nigel Hawtin working with Owen Gaffney at the Future Earth Media Lab for the Global Carbon Project. 

Designers can learn from Nigel's careful use of color to clearly highlight the stories in the data, and use of black and gray for all of the reference data. Clear Creative Commons license, and each section can be broken apart to easily post on Twitter and in social media.

Because the infographic will be shared as a stand-alone piece on the Internet (without the full report or surrounding text) it's missing the URL to the full report. The URL text should be included in the actual infographic JPG image so readers can find their way back to the original full-size version on the publisher's site.