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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

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Entries in internet (189)

Friday
Dec092011

The Anatomy of a Perfect Website

The Anatomy of a Perfect Website from R.O.I Media does a really good job of looking at the primary components of a good website design.  There are many decisions that need to be made by website owners and designers in each of the different sections, and of course data should be driving those decisions.

Websites need a formula – a vivid blueprint that painstakingly weaves technicality, design and detail into something iconic and memorable. Without it, most wouldn’t function for more than a moment and they certainly wouldn’t impress. You may have navigation and usability down, but in today’s fast paced climate you’ll crash and burn without social media. What about SEO, where would it be without content? These are all the things we have to consider, if we are to succeed – from vital tracking and analytics to the often disregarded footer, every detail oils the machine. With that in mind, we bring you the Anatomy of a Perfect Website…

A couple things bother me about the visualizations used in the design.  Designers need to get the “area” of objects correct for the data visualizations to be accurate.  In the Social Media section, the size of the clocks with the site logos should represent the scale of the time spent on each of the sites, but the sizes aren’t actually connected to the values at all.  They’re only a series of increasing shapes without any meaning.  The Facebook clock should be at least five times the diameter shown.

Also, the Browser Statistics section is another victim of the “area” challenge.  I LOVE the visual design style of the color saturation only extending up on the logos as far as the statistics show!  However, you can’t just use the height of the percentage because all of the logos are round shapes.  You need to use the Area of a Circle Segment to calculate the appropriate height to use.  This visual design is probably close, but it’s not accurate.

Thanks to Francois for sending in the link!

Tuesday
Nov012011

The Life Cycle of a Web Page on StumbleUpon

 

StumbleUpon.com has shared a number of the differetn stats behind it’s social sharing service in the infographic The Life Cycle of a Web Page on StumbleUpon.  Designed by Column Five Media, the infographic focuses on the half-life of a link and the length of time users view pages and interact with StumbleUpon.  This information shows that the half-life of a StumbleUpon link is much longer than other social media sites that were shared by bit.ly in September.

You may have heard the stat that StumbleUpon drives more traffic referrals than any other social media site. We wanted to shed some light on this by describing the lifecycle of a web page in StumbleUpon, especially how long you could expect the average web page to keep getting visitors.

StumbleUpon doesn’t get as many mentions in the media as Facebook and Twitter, but the data indicates that they have more referrals than those two combined.  I see that here on the Cool Infographics blog occassionally.  When one of my posts is picked up in StumbleUpon is usually gets thousands of stumbles.

Found on Visual News and Fast Company Design.

Tuesday
Oct042011

Social Media Usage in the UK

Social Media Usage in the UK is a new infographic from Umpf.co.uk

We then analysed the results to bring what we believe is the most up-to-date snapshot of social media usage in the UK.  If you like statistics, you can view them all here.

Our infographic, created by Vapour, helps visualise statistics; it outlines the gender and age differences in social media usage.

It needs a title.

I love that they included a link to the data file in GoogleDocs in the original posting.

I like the idea of the Man/Woman stacked percentages.  Although, I’m guessing they didn’t calculate the icon shape areas to get the section sizes right, which makes the visualization false.  They probably just calculated the height of each section, which visually misinterprets the data.  YouTube is shown to be much bigger than it really is because the shape is widest there.

They don’t need the Key/Legend at the bottom (“Legends are Evil”).  The social media icons were clearly used in the first bar chart, and could have been included in them all for clarity.  Build the data right into the charts, and you don’t need a legend.

At the bottom should be a copyright (or creative commons license), the URL to the original infographic, the Umpf company logo,  the sources listed and the designer credit.  Once this infographic is posted elsewhere on the Internet (like here on the Cool Infographics blog) all of the information that was included in the original posting is lost.  (unless a good blog author, like me, includes the links)

Thanks to Jon for sending in the link!

Friday
Sep232011

The Blog Tree: New Growth infographic and Q&A

 

Eloqua and JESS3 have partnered again to design The Blog Tree: New Growth (building on the success of the original Blog Tree infographic project from last year).  The new version focuses on new blogs from the last few years (INCLUDING Cool Infographics!) and uses the Edelman BlogLevel as the scoring system (a ranking system I hadn’t heard of before). They are also using SlideShare.net as an embedded PDF viewer so you can interact with the clickable version that takes you to any of the blogs by clicking on any particular leaf.

 

The Blog Tree: New Growth
View more documents from Eloqua

 

 

A couple things worth mentioning about the project:

  • The clickable version is available on SlideShare.net or as a downloadable PDF file.
  • They are using Facebook photos in a unique way.  They are asking anyone interested in being a part of the next version to “Like” the Eloqua page and tag themselves in the image of this year’s Blog Tree.
  • They’ve added the concept of site badges this year for anyone listed on the tree.  From a content stance, this is a great way to encourage long-term links from influencial blogs.

 

From the Eloqua blog post:

We’re calling today’s visual is The Blog Tree: New Growth edition because it celebrates a very important group of bloggers. New ones.  All gene pools benefit from healthy DNA, and if the blogosphere is going to continue to evolve, it’s important that new voices are heard. The Blog Tree: New Growth cheers about 60 active, insightful blogs launched (or significantly re-engineered) after January 1, 2009.  It’s truly a collection of the freshest voices on the Web.

After combing through the feedback we received on the original Blog Tree, we made two significant changes in this version:

  1. Interactivity: Today’s infographic is interactive. Every leaf links to the corresponding blog. Interactivity was a popular request in the wake of last year’s visual, and when we shared a draft with the bloggers featured on the New Growth version, they too asked for it. The result is an infographic that fulfills its promise of making it easier for you to discover blogs we think you’ll love.

  2. (Much) Better Ranking System: Last year’s version looked only at Web traffic, and we received a bit of pushback on that ranking model. So we turned to one of the world’s most reliable sources of trust and influence: Edelman. We used Edelman’s BlogLevel tool as our sole data supplier because it gave us the most holistic view of each blog’s relative influence, popularity, engagement and trustworthiness.

 

I asked Joe Chernov, VP of Content Marketing at Eloqua, a few questions about the project:

Cool Infographics: You’ve partnered with JESS3 on a number of infographic projects now.  What do you see as the biggest benefit of designing infographics as online content?

Joe Chernov: Marketing today is all about having strong “fast twitch” muscles. It’s about creating content, lots and in rapid succession, that appeals to viewers with short attention spans. It’s a hell of a challenge, especially for a business-to-business technology company, like Eloqua, whose story typically takes a little longer to tell. The benefit of an infographic is that it’s like a Trojan Horse: The visual captures attention, giving the marketer time to convey a message.

Cool Infographics: What did you learn from the original Blog Tree that changed how this one was designed?

Joe Chernov: We learned what worked. It’s funny, in “post-mortem” meetings, companies often focus on what didn’t work. But it’s also important to inspect what did work. When we released the original Blog Tree, I hesitated. I thought people might accuse it of being too high concept or pandering. Neither accusation was made. My hope was that the public recognized that we put thought into the selection, that it was truly a meritocracy. So what we learned going into the New Growth edition is that the key to success was found in the quality of the curation. Sure there were some improvements that needed to be made at the margins. Using traffic as the sole metric was a ridiculous oversimplification — and one that was 100% my fault — and, as you pointed out insightfully, the leaves absolutely should link through to more content, preferably the blogs themselves. So we made those changes.

Cool Infographics: What would you tell companies considering infographics as part of their marketing strategy?

Joe Chernov: Respect the medium. Simply calling a bunch of Excel line graphs and bar charts an infographic doesn’t make it one. Stuff like this (http://blog.marketo.com/blog/2011/09/attention-b2b-marketers-embrace-the-mobile-web.html), I believe, damages the medium because it eliminates art and nuance, which are essential elements of a good infographic. Before we publish any infographic I ask myself, “What would David McCandless (http://www.davidmccandless.com/) say if he saw this? Would I be proud to show it to him?” Try to be an ambassador for the medium, because it’s under duress.

Cool Infographics: I had never heard of the Edelman BlogLevel before.  Why did you use that as your blog metric in the design?

Joe Chernov: We needed a better metric than the simple traffic data that we used to grade blogs in the original Blog Tree. Not only was that metric one-dimensional, it was also a poor measure of the quality of a new blog, which we were trying to highlight in the New Growth version we just released. After all, it takes a while to build up traffic to a blog. So we looked for a multidimensional blog “grader” from a trusted, independent source. Edelman and trust are synonymous, at least in the communications world. And their BlogLevel tool evaluates much more than traffic. It looks at engagement and the soft science of trust. I have also collaborated with David Armano, one of Edelman Digital’s leaders, in the past so I welcomed the chance to partner with him again.

Cool Infographics: In your opinion, why do blogs continue to be relevant online?

Joe Chernov: Because this is the era of transparency. Buyers want to know, really know, who they are doing business with. The blog, or at least should be, a window into the organization.

 

Also, check out Joe’s presentation about infographics that he gave at this year’s Content Marketing World conference, and available on SlideShare:

 

Infographics in 15 Minutes
View more presentations from Eloqua
Thursday
Sep222011

The Evolution of the Web

 

The Evolution of the Web is a cool, interactive visualization from the Google Chrome team (along with Hyperakt and Vizzuality) that explores the evolution of web browsers over the last 20 years.

Over time web technologies have evolved to give web developers the ability to create new generations of useful and immersive web experiences. Today’s web is a result of the ongoing efforts of an open web community that helps define these web technologies, like HTML5, CSS3 and WebGL and ensure that they’re supported in all web browsers.

The color bands in this visualization represent the interaction between web technologies and browsers, which brings to life the many powerful web apps that we use daily.

Clicking on any of the browser icons brings up a cool visual history of the window design for each version.

Although there is a lot of data showning the version releases along the timeline, part of this design is just pretty.  The flowing colored bands seems to grow bigger over time implying increased usage of each technology, but their placement behind the broser lines doesn’t actual show which technologies were used by each browser. 

In fact, there’s a subtle marketing spin that has all of the lines converging behind the Google Chrome logo in 2008 and then exploding into the future.  And the HTML5 line seems to imply that it will take over the Internet in 2012.

Found on Flowing Data.

 

Tuesday
Sep202011

The Internet of Things

 

Intel has designed a large infographic, The Internet of Things that explores the growing number of devices connected to the Internet since 1960 through predictions up to 2020.  (NOT to be confused with The Internet of Things infographic released by Cisco earlier this year with the same name)  High-Resolution PDF version, additional information and the data files are available here.

The Internet is evolving, again. Every day, billions of people connect to the Internet through billions of devices – PCs, smartphones and TVs to name just a few. While the PC remains at the centre of this evolution, Internet connectivity is now embedded into cars, fitness equipment, factory robots and vending machines. This smarter, connected world has the potential to change how we live.

We’re entering a new phase of Internet evolution. It is expanding much more rapidly than it has done in the last decade. Increasing numbers of everyday appliances are connecting to the Internet, their environment and to each other. Cars, fitness equipment, factory robots, retail signage and vending machines are becoming ‘smart’ thanks to tiny embedded computer processors and sensors, just like those in your laptop or mobile phone.

I have mixed feelings about this one.  It’s visually attractive, and would make a really nice printed poster.  The data is valuable and interesting, apparently gathered from a large number of disparate sources, but the URL listed at the bottom to view the sources didn’t work for me.

However, all of the colored lines aren’t actually connecting any events or actually combining to create a visualization of the values on the left side of the page.  While it visually implies the growing connections to the Internet and complexity, it doesn’t have any connection to the actual data.

I like the circle diagram at the bottom of the growing millions of PCs sold every day, but the “80% of of all PCs shipped today have Intel Inside” turned a fun, informative infographic into an ad and could turn off some readers.

Thanks to Emma for sending in the link!

Thursday
Sep012011

The 20 Most Expensive AdWords on Google

Where’s Google Making Its Money? is a great example of using data that your company has to showcase your services.  This one is from WordStream, and they analyzed their own keyword database to find the most expensive keywords from AdWords over a 90-day period.

From WordStream:

On the heels of Google’s blow-out Q2 2011 earnings announcement last week, we wanted to find out the most expensive keywords - what keywords demand the highest costs per click and are most competitive in terms of high search volume. Since the vast majority of Google’s profits come from AdWords advertising, these high CPC keyword categories are responsible for a large part of Google’s profits.

From TechCrunch:

WordStream, a venture capital-backed provider of hosted software that automates most of the manual work involved with creating and optimizing both paid and natural search engine marketing campaigns, has done some research to discover which keyword categories fetch the highest costs per click (CPC) in Google’s AdWords solution.

And of course, they made an infographic based on the results of their research

Found on Chart Porn and The Big Picture.

Wednesday
Jul132011

The Content Grid v2

First, The Content Grid v2 is a cool, new infographic collaboration between Eloqua and JESS3.  The infographic maps out the different ways that companies can deliver information to potential customers, how that content can effect the buying process and the different distribution channels for that information.

It’s a complex set of data, and this infographic does a fantastic job of summarizing the different tools available onto one page.  This would work as a fantastic tool to use when planning a strategy to release a new product, and choosing the different ways you could successfully reach your customers.

The Content Grid v2 picks up where its predecessor left off. Intact is the prescriptive connection between content type and distribution channel. New is the perspective of the buyer, a multi-stage purchase funnel, and a comprehensive collection of KPIs (like they say, “What isn’t measured, isn’t purchased.”). Although v2 contains significantly more information than the original, the new design is infinitely more simple. This achievement is a tribute to the unrivaled design team at JESS3 – and the clarity of client/agency communication that comes only with time and trust.

Enjoy The Content Grid v2. It’s not only the next generation of the Web’s most popular and award-winning content marketing infographic, but it’s also a how-to for marketers looking to operationalize content marketing programs.

Second, Jesse Thomas, CEO of JESS3, has posted a good “The Making of an Infographic” article on Forbes.com looking behind the scenes at the infographic design process, and sharing some of the other design options that were explored during the process.  A couple of the other designs are included above.

 

And finally, third, Joe Chernov has a good article about designing Planned Obsolescence into the infographic as an effective markleting practice.  Eloqua and JESS3 released the original Content Grid (above) in June of 2010 knowing it was interesting data, but not quite useful yet as a tool.

We knew the graphic was interesting visually, and we also knew it could be used by marketers. But deep down we felt that something was “off,” but we couldn’t quite put our finger on what was wrong. We could have sat in the drawing room until it was “perfect” (translation: indefinitely), but we didn’t. Instead we published the content as-is and deliberately planned to revisit it one year later.

During that time, we solicited feedback (in blog comments, on Twitter, from colleagues, even from the audience at speaking engagements) and preserved all comments in a spreadsheet. By provoking widespread feedback (positive and negative), we were deliberately rendering obsolete the infographic we had worked so hard to develop.

A fascinating look at how infographics are made and used as effective marketing tools.

Monday
May162011

Client Infographic: How Affiliate Marketing Works

How Affiliate Marketing Works

 

Recently, InfoNewt (my company) designed How Affiliate Marketing Works for Internet Marketing guru Rae Hoffman-Dolan and her site: Sugarrae.com.  You can see the high-resolution version here.

After spending over a decade in the Internet marketing industry, I think I often forget – and have failed to address – the most obvious question most folks new to the industry have about affiliate marketing.

When I appeared as a guest on Weapons of Mass Marketing earlier this week to discuss the topic of marketing affiliate programs, the hosts evidenced the importance of the often overlooked question by leading off their interview with a variation of it…

“How does affiliate marketing work?”

No numbers, no statistics, no data visualizations.  This infographic is visualizing a process, and I do many of these for clients.  Business processes, strategies, workflows, business models, flow charts and explanations of how things work.

In this case, characters on a simple path visualizes a process of 10 steps.  Way more interesting than a text numbered list in a blog post don’t you think?

You should follow Rae on Twitter: @sugarrae

Wednesday
May042011

Real Estate: Social Media Killed the Blog Star

 

Another good infographic from Fixr.com about the how the real estate industry is changing.  Social Medai Killed the Blog Star: Real Estate looks at how buyers are finding their information online and who are the most influential blogs and real estate people on Twitter.

I like the use of company logos and Twitter profile images.  I also like that all of the data is built-in to the pie charts and bar charts to make it easier for the readers to comprehend.

The side-by-side Top 10 lists are interesting, but because they’re based on different measurements (followers vs. Alexa page rank), the graphic should give the reader some context of how to compare the different values.  Why do these lists support the overall message that social media is more important than blogging?

Some major technical errors as well.  Pie chart percentages should ALWAYS add up to 100%.  The pie charts here add up to 71%, 99%, 91% and 100%, which means that the visual of the slice sizes doesn’t match the data.  You never want your data visualizations to tell a story that isn’t supported by the data.

Thanks to Raul for sending in the link!