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

Infographics Design | Presentations
Consulting | Data Visualizations

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Blood Simple: Designing Infographic Health Reports

Blood Simple, by Steven Leckart, is a great article in the recent issue (Dec 2010) of WIRED magazine, and is also available to read online.  Three visual designers were challenged to design a better lab report to help make health information more approachable and understandable by patients.

…lab reports don’t have to be unintelligible. With some thought and design-minded thinking, tests can be as informative to patients as they are to physicians. With a little context and color, we can make sense of the numbers. And with a bit more understanding, patients can become participants in their own health.


These designs certainly aren’t perfect, but they very clearly illustrate the point that we should be able to help patients get a better grip around their own health information.  The last few decades have seen a tremendous shift in pushing the responsibility of a patient’s health back onto the patient without giving them a better way to understand the information. 

We consulted with Lisa Schwartz and Steven Woloshin, physicians at the Dartmouth Medical School Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and experts in communicating data to patients, to make sure the right information gets onto the forms and the irrelevant stuff stays off. And we tapped three exceptional designers to reimagine how this information can be presented—limiting them to one printed page per report. Consider these a proof of concept, a refutation of the argument that ordinary people can’t handle their health (and inspiration, we hope, for the medical establishment).



I want my own Visual Health Report!


Visualizing Daily Activities With Media Wheel


I really like the Media Wheel for Visualizing Daily Activities from Hill Holiday.  The wheel visualizes how people consumer different types of media over the course of a day.  For example, DVD/Video is mostly consumed in the evening and Newspaper is mostly consumed in the morning.  each slice is a different type of media, and the consumption levels are shown by how bright the colors are at that time of day.

For a media planning project, we needed to find a simple way to illustrate how people in a particular segment engage with different media. After some experimentation, we came up with this “media wheel” chart that summarizes 216 data points from a media spreadsheet.  

Read their blog post, they included a good description of how they normalized the data and created the media wheel.  They also gave credit to the designer, Eric Fensternheim, which is always nice to see.

The wheel graph itself was built by hand in Adobe Illustrator. Each data point’s value relative to the highest in its row is tied to the corresponding level of color transparency.

Design: Eric Fensterheim, media design intern.


2010 Facebook vs. Twitter Social Demographics

Facebook vs. Twitter is a good one from DigitalSurgeons.com.  They’ve done a great job of compiling the data from at least 10 different sources, to create an overall profile of the standard Facebook and Twitter users.

One has over 500 million users, the other just over 100 million. But who are they and what’s their behavior? What’s their value to a brand? How old are they? What’s their education? How much do they make? Just exactly what does the Facebook vs. Twitter landscape look like? Good questions. Here’s how we see it.

The use of the Polar Area Chart (also called a Nightingale Rose Diagram) does a good job of breaking down the demographic information into 11 different categories.  Unlike a standard pie chart, each slice is the same angle, and only the radius of each slice conveys value.

The difficulty in using this visualization style, is that it’s hard for the reader to compare between the two diagrams.  Does Twitter or Facebook have more logins by mobile device?  The reader can’t tell from the visuals, and they have to move back and forth reading the values to tell the difference.

One possible alternative would have been to put everything into one Polar Area Chart, so for every section the Facebook slice is next to the Twitter slice.  That way you could visually compare the two without reading the numbers or comparing between two charts.

Thanks Matt for sending in the link!


Client Infographic: An Illustrated View of SAP SPS 18 


The SPS 18 Fact Sheet is a new infographic InfoNewt (my company) designed recently for Panaya, a software-as-a-service company that provides upgrade automation to SAP customers.  The team at Panaya has some fantastic, proprietary data and needed a way to share that information with current and future customers.

It’s mind-boggling that the SAP Enterprise software is so big that the last round of updates had 13,349 notes/changes!  I can totally understand the need for Panaya’s simulations and analysis for IT managers trying to manage implementing these updates.  Panaya has a fantastic service that can evaluate the impact of each update package (support package stack) for their clients’ unique and different installations of SAP.

Every company uses (or doesn’t use) the SAP modules differently and knowing which modules have the most notes/changes can make a big difference on how you implement each update.  

SAP Support Package Stacks Have Never Looked so Sexy – An Illustrated View of SPS 18

SAP Support Package Stacks are “mega bundles” of software updates that SAP periodically makes available. These updates include important bug fixes, performance improvements, and legal changes such as labor and tax law changes. The challenge is that most stacks include well over 10,000 changes or “Notes.” And these changes can impact installations in ways that are hard to predict, with possible adverse effect on business processes.

One of the advantages of running a SaaS solution here at Panaya is that we can run aggregate analysis across hundreds of projects. Think “Google Trends” for SAP Support Package Stacks. We ran our simulation over hundreds of different instances to determine the typical impact areas and other stats. The goal is to help you plan towards your implementations.

We sent an early version to several thousands of reviewers and got great feedback.

As a next step, we partnered with designer Randy Krum, who, believe it or not, is not only a talented artist, but also a former SAP BPX-er. So he can actually pronounce ABAP and can tell BI from FI.

So without further ado, here’s SAP Support Pack 18 like you have never seen it before

Thanks to Udi and the rest of the team at Panaya!  There’s much more information available at Panayainc.com and ERP Executive: The Magazine for SAP Managers.


I Love Charts - PBS Kids Video

I Love Charts” is a fun little video about charts and visualizing data for children from PBS Kids.

Found on Chart Porn


2010 Box Office Movies Infographic

As the year ends, the 2010 Box Office Movie Chart is complete.  A cool, interactive view of the box office receipts by week.  It’s pretty large, so you have do some scrolling through they year.  If you hover over any movie in the chart, it displays the actual receipt dollars for that week so you can see the numbers behind the chart.

Zach Beane has created a number steam graphs showing movie box office receipts for the last five years and more.

I had an idea for displaying box office data graphically and here are the results. It’s inspired by stream graphs and the works of Edward Tufte.

Each page displays trends in the top 25 movies at the box office for each weekend in a year. The color is based on the movie’s debut week. Because of that, long-running movies will gradually start to stand out from newer movies with different colors.

Nice work Zach!

Found on VizWorld


Christmas in the World 2010


20 fun Christmas fact rolled into the Christmas in the World infographic, from the Venere Travel Blog.

I didn’t remember that the Statue of Liberty was a Christmas gift…


Could You Be a Failure?

Who says an infographic can’t be fun or humorous?  Could You Be a Failure? is an infographic with 10 line charts looking at different traits by age.  NOT based on any hard-core research, these just show the designer’s perceptions by age.

Designed by Jess Bachman and published by Smarter.org.

Here is some light but insightful infographic fare.  Obviously based on no real data but my own wit, but hopefully it will make people think/smile/laugh.

One cool thing is that they included a blank chart for you to create your own.  Go ahead and make one for yourself and hang it up at work.  People will definitely notice and probably laugh or comment.



Do You Answer the Cell Phone During Sex?


The Shocking Demographics of Cell Phone Use from Wilson Electronics provides this answer (15% say “YES!” apparently hoping someone more interesting is calling…) and more surprising statistics about how cell phone use has grown in the last 10 years.  

The infographic was sent in to Mashable.com, and I can’t find any trace of it on the Wilson Electronics site.

Wilson Electronics, Inc. sent us this interesting (rather large) infographic outlining the demographics of cellphone use (click for full version).

The infographic illustrates, among other things, the number of cellphones per capita in various countries, the rate of cellphone adoption in the U.S. during the past decade and the acceptability of certain behaviors regarding cellphone use.

Sadly, there is no credit for the designer, but I found it on Twitter, tweeted by @invoke


Client Infographic: The Empowered E-Patient


The Empowered E-Patient is a recent project InfoNewt (my company) did for the Path of the Blue Eye Project.  The statistics are compelling, and certainly support that e-patients are now mainstream.

In 2000, the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that 25% of Americans searched online for health information.  Today, 61% rely on the Web for medical and health content.  Americans’ growing reliance on Dr. Google and Nurse Yahoo! has led to profound changes in how health organizations and providers relate to and communicate with consumers.

Notably, this infographic provides information on e-patient social media communications from a Project-produced research report, “Communicating with the Empowered E-Patient.”  This report is available free of charge to individuals making regular contributions to the Project’s knowledge community, Living the Path.  Learn more about how to access this report here.


One of the challenges was defining not only what is an e-patient, but also what is the correct term to refer to these people looking up medical information online.  We ended up using Google to determine which terms are used most commonly, and the title ‘e-patient” was clearly the term used most often.

Thanks to Fard and the team at Enspektos.com.  There’s much more information available at the Path of the Blue Eye Project.