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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Entries in education (60)

Tuesday
Sep282010

Homeschooling: By The Numbers infographic

Homeschooling: By The Numbers is a good infographic from the DegreeSearch.org blog.  Simple statistics with a very clean design, but varied use of data visualization styles (bars, scales, pies).

Homeschooled students generally achieve higher SAT scores in reading, math and writing; as well as, ranking in the 80th percentile for math, science, social studies, language and reading. This may be due to the higher level of education of fathers and mothers that stay home to teach their children. Most have some college, an associates degree, or a bachelors degree.

Found on the Daily Viz from Visual Loop

Thursday
Sep232010

Client Infographic: The Good News for Online Degrees

 

Good News for Online Degrees is a recent project InfoNewt (my company) designed for elearners.com to visualize the results of a survey of Human Resources professionals worldwide.

The results are good, as online degrees continue to gain credibility and popularity.  Designed as a companion infographic to the article “How Employers View Online Degrees” on the elearners.com website, the visual not only supports the article, but also stands on its own for posting on blogs.

I used a blend of pie charts, bar charts, circles and images to tell a story as you move down the visual.  The different visuals help separate the different questions that were asked in the survey, but always include the actual numbers as well.  For survey results, you want to be as transparent as possible by citing the source material, repeating the questions that were asked and using specific numbers to validate your visuals.

Personally, the most interesting results are in the stacked bar chart in the middle.  Online degrees have dramatically different levels of acceptance based on what level of role the applicant is applying for.

Available as a high-resolution GIF and PDF from the elearners.com site.

Cheers to Helen and everyone at elearners.com!

Tuesday
Apr272010

10 Tips for (journalists) Designing Infographics

This article was originally published on “Digital Newsgathering”, a class blog for Journalism 226 at San Francisco State University, Instructor: Staci Baird.  I wrote this post as a guest author, and with permission I am republishing it here.

 

Assuming you’re not working for a media corporation with huge graphics and statistics departments at your disposal, you may want to create some infographics for your own articles.  With today’s flood of information, infographics allow readers to quickly digest and understand complex data.  A good infographic will not only inform readers, but will also create interest and convince people to read your article similar to how good headlines and photos attract readers.  In contrast, both boring and overly complex graphics will quickly convince readers to ignore your article.

Here are 10 tips for designing better infographics (click the images to go to their original sites):

 

1) Be Concise: Design your infographic to convey one idea really well.  You’re not writing a scientific research paper, so don’t expect your reader to dig into a lot of detail.  This doesn’t mean you should only visualize one number, but your entire graphic should support one of the major points from the article.  You can include additional facts or information to make the infographic stand on its own, but don’t lose sight of the point you want to get across.

This example is an infographic poster I created about the caffeine content in drinks.  At this size, you can easily tell which drinks have more or less caffeine, and if you decide to view the higher-resolution image you can dig deeper into the details and additional information that’s included in the poster.

The Caffeine Poster, by Randy Krum

 

2) Be Visual:  Design your infographic with your final for viewing size in mind.  A number of articles online require the viewers to click on a text link to view the graphics that accompany an article, and I believe this is a huge mistake.  Design your graphics to be viewed in-line with your article.  There’s nothing wrong with allowing viewers to click the image to see a high-resolution version, but they should be able to understand the image when viewed with the article.  A side benefit is that a viewable image also allows for readers to share the image by itself on social media sites easily.

Google PageRank Explained, by Elliance

 

3) Be Smarter:  Build your data and explanation right into the infographic, and don’t make your readers have to work hard to understand what they’re seeing.  Your infographic shouldn’t need a legend to be understandable, and there’s no reason to ask your readers to keep moving their eyes back and forth between the chart and the legend to understand the graphic.  Treat your readers as intelligent and make your graphic look professional by including the relevant descriptions and numbers in the infographic.

Who Participates Online?, by Arno Ghelfi for Wired Magazine

 

4) Be Transparent:  Infographics can be used to lead readers to the wrong conclusions.  Always cite your data sources and allow readers to dig deeper into the data if they have the desire.  Some of the best articles include easy access to the source data with links to a spreadsheet for readers to view on their own.

BBC Budget, by David McCandless

See the visual. Explore the data.

 

5) Be Different:  If you can avoid it, don’t use a bar chart, a line chart or a pie chart.  This infographic of visualization styles is a great resource to help determine a good visual to use for your data.  The different styles are grouped together by the type do data they are trying to communicate and in the interactive version, an example is shown as you mouse over each style.

Periodic Table of Visualization, by Visual-Literacy.org

 

6) Be Accurate: Remember your geometry and visualize differences using area.  When trying to convey the scale of your data, many graphics use different sized shapes or images to show amounts relative to each other.  The reader’s eye sees the total area of the image as indicative of scale, not just the height of the image. 

For example, if you’re using circles to show one number is 3 times larger than another, the area of the circle must be in proportion to the values being represented.  If you make the mistake of making the diameter of the circle 3 times larger, the area is actually 9 times larger.

Circle Areas, by Randy Krum

The infographic below breaks down the number of FedEx trucks using the area of the circles in a mind map style image.  This could have been a simple bar chart, but it’s much more visually appealing as a bubble mind map.

The Fedex Universe, by Robin Richards for MeetTheBoss.tv

NOTE: One common exception to this is a standard bar chart.  No matter how wide the bars are, the height is the only dimension that conveys meaning.

 

7) Be Attractive: Include visuals:  Illustrations and photos included in the infographic make a big difference.  Even though this example is a bar chart, the inclusion of the company logos make it quicker and easier for the reader to understand.

What Does Your Email Provider Say About You?, by CreditKarma.com

 

8) Be Varied:  Find a good visual style that’s right for the data you’re trying to share.  If your data is about countries, plot it on a world map not a bar chart that lists countries.  Also, don’t be afraid to mix visualization styles together in one infographic.  

This example infographic by Emily Schwartzman about the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti won a design contest from GOOD Magazine, and mixes map data with a stacked bar and colored boxes for percentages.  This is also a great example of viewing size.  You can see and understand the visuals, but the actual numbers are available if you view the high-resolution version.

Haiti Earthquake Infographic, by Emily Schwartzman

 

9) Be Gracious:  Work on the assumption that your infographic may be viewed or shared without the article you originally designed it for.  Make sure that the final graphic includes the following pieces:

  • Copyright, to be explicit about any rights and terms of use
  • Source data, so anyone can check your facts
  • Designer’s name, always give credit to the artist/illustrator/programmer/designer
  • Original image/article address, so anyone who sees the image can find your original article

 

10) Be Creative:  Use whatever tools you have available to create your infographic.  Of course, the tools you use will depend on what you are trying to visualize.  Many infographics can be created using simple applications like a vector drawing program (like OmniGraffle or Microsoft Visio), a charting program (like Microsoft Office or Apple iWork) or an image editing program (like Adobe Photoshop).

Here are some visual tools available on the Internet: 

Thursday
Apr152010

The Feltron Annual Report 2009 and an Online Class April 29th

I’m not sure how it slipped off the radar, but I haven’t posted a link to the Feltron Annual Report 2009 here on the blog yet.  Nicholas Feltron has done infographics for Time, CNN, Wired, New York Times, Fast Company and more, but probably his most popular infographics are his annual reports.  The print version of the Feltron Annual Report 2009 is available for pre-order for $30 from the Feltron Store.

Mike Aruz interviewed Nicholas Feltron when the 2009 Annual Report was released on mikearauz.com

The reason this came up today is that Nicholas is going to be the host of Live DesignCast: Nicholas Felton, A Master Class on Information Design.  This is an online class from PRINT Magazine on April 29, 2010 at 4pm EST.  The class costs $69 and is one hour long.

Our current information age has produced an inevitable crush of complicated data to sort through. Thankfully, there is a rising group of designers who present all this data in a way that we can understand and use. And for the last several years, no one has done it better than Nicholas Felton. 

In this Master Class, Felton explains how detailed data leads to better stories, offers a few guidelines for displaying complicated data sets, and challenges you to use all five senses through the process. 

In this Master Class DesignCast, you’ll learn: 

• How to visualize large data sets
• How to go from an initial question to gathering, comparison, and display 
• How to use sensors, whether hardware or software, to gather data
• How data helps satisfy curiosity, provides insight, and entertains
• How better data leads to better stories

Monday
Feb012010

Mindmap of Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

Mike Krsticevic has created a great mindmap based on Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture.  

At the age of only 45 (in Sept 2006), Professor Pausch was told that only 4% of pancreatic cancer sufferers (of which he was now diagnosed as one) lived for 5 years after their diagnosis. At the time of the “Last Lecture”, due to his deteriorating medical condition, Professor Pausch was told his odds had reduced to 3 to 6 months of good health left (at best). 

I have spent 3 hours preparing the mind map for you (including the time spent re-watching the video) and I have learnt so much more by being actively involved. For this reason I strongly recommend that you take the time to read and study the mind map after you watch the video. I believe it will be well worth your time

If you haven’t seen this video, I highly recommend watching this.  It’s about 1:15 long, so watch it over lunch or when you have enough time, but it is truly inspirational.

You can download the PDF from Mike’s site.

Monday
Dec282009

Higher Education = Lower Unemployment


From USCollegeSearch.org, a fairly simple but good chart showing the relationship between unemployment rates and education levels.  Although lacking a good title, this chart does a great job of communicating one message really well.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that people who finish degree programs in college earn much more over the course of their lifetimes than those who only earn high school diplomas or drop out of college. Sometimes the difference can be over a million dollars before retirement.  But even more interesting, it was noted that people with undergraduate and graduate degrees manage to stay employed for longer periods, but also find jobs they qualify for more quickly.  They spend less time searching and more time working.


Thanks Jim!

Friday
Nov272009

Black Friday Deal! 3-for-1 posters at Flowing Prints



Nathan over at FlowingData and FlowingPrints is offering a special 3 posters for the price of 1 deal for Black Friday (offer good through Sunday 11/29).  That's all three posters for $20!

For readers of Cool Infographics to take advantage of the deal, go to FlowingPrints, click on the "Buy The Series" button and use the promotion code: bfridayfps20

The three posters all focus on Education, titled "College High", "Education: Enrollment and Dropouts" and "How America Learns: by the Numbers".  If not for yourself, think about buying a set for your local school or library!

The state of education in America is the theme of this series. With funds getting cut nationwide, it's important to know how today's youth are learning (or not learning).  We looked at over three decades of data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Education has seen a lot of improvement over the years, but there is still plenty of room for growth.
Also, for every print you buy, Nathan will send an additional one to a local school too!  Thanks Nathan!

Tuesday
Jun302009

Skirt Lengths on Flickr + infographic tutorial


Wendy Ding created this infographic in 2007, and recently published a complete tutorial on how she created it on Digital Arts.

After collecting data on skirt lengths and their wearers and locations from flickr.com, this information piece was created to illustrate the statistics. A bar graph, area map with call-outs, and a legend all come together to explain the skirt wearers relationship.

This piece garnered an honourable mention from the 2007 Adobe Design Contest for the digital illustration category.
Thanks for sharing Wendy!

Friday
Jun262009

Imagine Leadership, great infographic video




Great work from our friends at XPLANE.com for the Harvard Business School! Thanks to both XPLAE and Harvard for making this video available to the public.

The inspiring and thought-provoking piece on global leadership was created in collaboration with Nitin Nohria, Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration, and Co-Chair of the Leadership Initiative at Harvard Business School.

The video debuted earlier this month at Harvard Business School's "How Can Leadership Be Taught" symposium on June 9 and 10. We were honored to partner with Nitin to create a visually appealing, provocative piece that would inspire viewers to take action, get involved and be motivated to lead.

"Imagine Leadership" is six minutes long and available for viewing on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuuTlQ0FzEU. Inspired by the popular "Did You Know? 2.0" video that we created, the new piece has similar qualities in how it visually represents key factoids, people and critical information. However, unlike "Did You Know," this piece combines illustration with graphics and photography, allowing the most appropriate visual content to represent each subject.

Thursday
Jun182009

Videos online from the See Conference #4


A couple months ago (April 18th), the See Conference #4 was held in Wiesbaden, Germany.  This one-day event had a great lineup of speakers:  Aaron Koblin (Google Creative Lab), Julian Oliver (software artist), Gijs Joosen (ONL), Eric Rodenbeck (Stamen Design) and Prof. Dr. Gerhard Roth (University of Bremen).  The event was organized by Scholz & Volkmer (www.s-v.de).

The best part is that videos of the entire day of speakers are now available online from the event website at www.see-conference.com.  Some of the videos are in German, but Eric Rodenbeck, Julian Oliver, Gijs Joosen and Aaron Koblin are speaking English for their presentations.

Thanks Chantal!