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.

SxSW 2016
Vote for my SxSW 2016 proposal
before September 4th!

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Entries in presentation (8)

Friday
Aug212015

Visual Storytelling: The Big Trend for SXSW 2016

It’s only August, but voting is already underway for the March 2016 South By Southwest (SxSW) Interactive conference. Long thought of as the breeding ground for new ideas and creative technologies, we can gleam industry insights from the SXSW Interactive Festival. This year, I decided not to wait until the conference to delve into the veritable buffet of groundbreaking panels vying for festival space. This year’s PanelPicker interface received more than 4,000 proposals, which is an all-time record!

While a quick search of infographics yields only 11 results, a mere TWO actually have the word “Infographics” in the title. The industry discourse has shifted away from “how-to” models to “how to do it right.” Infographics have become a key format of the larger conversation: Visual Storytelling.

A quick search for “Visual Storytelling” yields over 200 talks in PanelPicker, along with hundreds more for “data visualization” and “visual content”.  Infographics are now used as one of many effective tools in the Marketer’s toolbox, and an accepted part of the larger conversation happening in the content marketing industry.

Visual storytelling is vital to content marketing success. The following types of visual content are at the forefront of the proposals for next year’s SXSW Interactive Festival.

1.    Animated GIFs

Source: Animagraffs by Jacob O'Neal

The social media world has been slow to adopt GIFs, with Facebook only just embracing the truncated clips this year. The average human attention span in 2015 is 8.25 seconds, so these bite-sized animations are the perfect for telling a complete story in a short amount of time. The motion in the image also captures attention on an already crowded news feed.

Check out these GIF-centric presentations, “Why GIFs are turning into the New Emojis on Mobile” and “Visual Storytelling - GIFs, Graphs, and Napoleon.


2.    Visual Presentations

Slideshare and other presentation-style platforms provide a visual and interactive way to share lots of information. With millions of visitors per month, Slideshare is an easy way to have your presentations seen by a large audience.

Perfect your visual presentations with “Sucking Less When Presenting Creative” and “The Power of Poise: Chi for Pitch and Presentation.”     

 

3.     Real-time storytelling

Real-time storytelling has increased in popularity with the rise of live feed social platforms like Periscope and Meerkat. The ease of execution and the sheer scope of the audience made these two platforms instantly successful. While Meerkat took the prize for most buzzed app at last year’s SXSW, Periscope has the weight of Twitter behind it and has become the more successful of the two.

Use these two tools to live broadcast your events, host a Q&A, or even share professional tips to a larger audience. Perfect your live-streaming with the “Live Streaming Killed Cable TV Star” and “Igniting Creativity with Periscope” PanelPicker proposals.

Twitter Periscope

Source: AdWeek

 

4.    Infographics

I couldn’t get through my list without mentioning infographics. Still one of the best ways to convey complex information in a shareable and visually appealing format, infographics should be worked into your content marketing strategy. While they are no longer the only way to tell a visual story, they remain a marketing industry staple.

Round out your visual storytelling prowess with great infographics. Learn how to rock your next infographic with my own proposal, “7 Deadly Sins of Infographics Design and How to Fix Them.

The Process of Designing an Infographic

 

Source: Visme 

Buzzword or not, visual storytelling is something we’ve all been doing since we first snapped a picture with a polaroid camera, we’re just getting better at it. Judging by PanelPicker entries alone, the 2016 SXSW Interactive Festival will be another great year for the content marketing industry.

Monday
Aug172015

I Need Your Votes for SxSW 2016

7 Deadly Sins of Infographics Design and How to Fix Them

7 Deadly Sins of Infographics Design and How to Fix Them

 

SXSW 2016 Interactive PanelPicker voting is now open, and I need your votes! My talk proposal entitled "7 Deadly Sins of Infographics Design and How to Fix Them" will explore examples of the top seven mistakes designers often make, and more importantly, offer design tips to overcome these common design blunders. Follow the steps below to vote:

Step 1: Go to PanelPicker to view my proposal.
Step 2: Log in or create an account.
Step 3: Give my proposal the thumbs up to vote!
Step 4: Post a comment (SXSW loves this).
Step 5: Share with your friends on social media.

 

I've only given this talk once before at the Malofiej Infographics World Summit in Spain, and I'm scheduled to present it at the Big Design Dallas conference in September. (Come join me if you're in the Dallas area!)

Community voting is a large part of the PanelPicker process, so I'm reaching out to you for your support. Please vote before September 4th!

For more information on my talk, please visit Slideshare for a preview.

Thanks for your help!

Monday
Feb022015

The Anatomy of the Perfect Sales Presentation

The Anatomy of the Perfect Sales Presentation infographic

Good infographics tell stories to the audience, and you sales presentations should too. The Anatomy of the Perfect Sales Presentation from Clemence Lepers (@PPTPOP) uses an infographic story to help people learn to tell better stories with PowerPoint. Very meta isn’t it?

You’re not gonna like it, but if you’re willing to start making some solid sales presentations that’ll help you generate more business, you’ll have to print the next sentence in your brain. Nobody cares about you. I repeat, nobody cares about you.  People care about how YOU can solve their problems and deliver the outcomes they are interested in. To grab prospects attention and close more sales, you need to bring consistent, clear solutions to their problems.

Easier said than done, right?

To help you with that, I’ve created an infographic that breaks down the key elements of a highly effective sales presentation. Follow them, and you’ll be set to get your value proposition across, communicate a compelling message and convert more prospects.

There’s a structure to a story, no matter what medium is being used to tell it. Don’t just throw your data and talking points into an infographic (or a presentation). Tell a story that makes your data meaningful to the audience.

Monday
Aug182014

SxSW Voting Guide for Infographics and Data Visualization

We Need Your Votes!

The 2015 SxSW Voting Guide for Infographics and Data Visualization

It’s already time to start thinking about the 2015 SxSW Interactive Conference!  This past year there were more than 15 fantastic sessions about infographics and data visualization, which I summarized in my recap post “The State of Infographics at SxSW 2014”.  We’re planning for 2015 to be even bigger for the world of infographics, but we need your help!

Event proposals have all been submitted, and the next part of the process is public voting on the presentations and panels to help the SxSW committee choose which events to include in the schedule of events.  All of you can vote on the proposals related to data visualization and infographics to help make sure they make it into the schedule.  Please register on the SxSW PanelPicker site and cast your votes for all of them or just your favorites.

The voting period is August 11th - September 5th!  There were over 3,000 proposals submitted this year, and the best proposals related to infographics and data visualization I could find are in the list below.  However, I’m sure there are more.  Please post links to any proposals I missed in the comments below.  We need your votes, social shares and comments on the SxSW site to help convince the committee to include these sessions. 

To make sure each of these are chosen we need you to:

First - Vote for each of your favorites

Second -  Share on social using the buttons on the SxSW pages to increase the counters

Third - Comment on their relevancy to you personally, the committee will review the comments

Help us make data visualization and infographics the best topic at SxSW 2015!

Tuesday
Feb042014

Live Events in Washington DC and Florida

Cool Infographics On The Road February 2014

If you’re located near Washington, DC or Fort Lauderdale, FL, I’ll be there next week!  I have a packed schedule of both public and private events, so check your schedule and join me if you can!  I’ll be presenting about data visualization and infographics, and signing books.  I look forward to meeting you!

Washington DC

Monday, Feb 10th, 3:00pm CBO (Congressional Budget Office) - private event and book signing

Tuesday, Feb 11th, 12:00pm, Noblis Tech Tuesday - private event and book signing

Tuesday, Feb 11th, 6:30pm, Data Visualization DC Meetup group - PUBLIC presentation, book signing and data drinks!

Register here: http://www.meetup.com/Data-Visualization-DC/events/164211042/

Wednesday, Feb 12th, Greater Washington Board of Trade Morning Star Speaker Series - PUBLIC event

* Discount for Cool Infographics readers - use the code “Cool*Infographics” at checkout to get the member price even if you’re a non-member ($25 discount)!

** No book sales allowed in the Ronald Reagan Building, so you must purchase a book beforehand if you would like me to sign it at the event.  You will be offered the chance to buy a book during online registration.

Register here: http://www.bot.org/events/programs/morning-star-speaker-series/randy-krum.aspx

 

Miami, FL

Thursday, Feb 13th, 11:00am, University of Miami - Guest Lecturer in Alberto Cairo’s Visual Journalism Infographics class

 

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Thursday, Feb 13th, 6:30pm, sfim@ (South Florida Interactive Marketing Association) - PUBLIC event and networking

Register here: http://www.sfima.com/EventDetail.aspx?id=872

 

You can always find my current list of upcoming events on the Appearances page!

 

Monday
Mar182013

See Conference April 20th

see#8 | 20 APRIL 2013 | SCHLACHTHOF WIESBADEN from Scholz & Volkmer GmbH on Vimeo.

 

I really wish I could make it to the See Conference (The Conference on Visualization of Information) in Germany (www.see-conference.org).  This year looks like they have a great conference lined up!

For eighth years now the see conference has been gathering the most creative people and exciting ideas on the topic of information visualization. The interdisciplinary platform brings together fields like design, art, architecture and new technologies. Our international speakers will show the latest ideas and approaches on how to deal with the current flood of information, on how to visualize it and turn it into something that can be experienced. Among our new speakers at see#8: Data journalist Francesco Franchi, Dutch design studio Catalogtree and British-born Antony Turner from Carbon Visuals. More info regarding program and tickets at www.see-conference.org

Event: see conference #8 
Date: 20 April 2013 
Location: Wiesbaden, Germany 
URL: www.see-conference.org

If you have a chance to make it to this conference, I would highly recommend it.  When I looked today, there were only 161 seats left!

Let me know what you think if you make it to the conference!

Wednesday
Feb202013

NPR Chart Check from the Enhanced State of the Union (SOTU)

On February 12, 2013, President Obama gave his annual State of the Union speech, but this year it was “enhanced” with charts, data visualizations and additional information in a sidebar of the display (full video above).  The team at NPR (@nprapps) published a great review a few days later called Chart Check: Did Obama’s Graphics ‘Enhance’ His Big Speech?  They also included opinions from a couple of the best data visualization experts Stephen Few (PerceptualEdge.com) and Nathan Yau (FlowingData.com)

Chart Check from the Enhanced State of the Union (SOTU)

I will say that I think the use of the charts was very successful and does make the President’s speech more effective.  By their very nature, the charts imply that the President has data behind his message, and that can be a very persuasive, compelling tactic.  You’ll also notice the wide array of chart styles so they are each memorable for different topics in the speech.  We didn’t get 27 bar charts, because the audience wouldn’t have been able to tell them apart after the speech.  We got different data visualizations for different types of data.  Stacked bars, line charts, area charts and grids colored icons.

The key frame from the video (above) is what first caught my eye.  This is the still image shown before you start playing the video.   I was instantly concerned about all of the charts after seeing this one about Deficit Reduction.  It may be because I work with data visualizations every day, but I could see instantly that the chart was wrong.  How can the $500 Billion part of the stacked bar be larger than the $600 Billion part?  That can’t be right!  Seriously, I look at this stuff all the time, and this jumps out at me in a big way.  Welcome to my life.

Here’s the full chart:

One of the biggest risks with data visualizations and infographics is what I call the Risk of Negative Impression.  The idea is that while good visuals can quickly leave a good impression with your audience, if your visualizations are incorrect or flawed, you can leave a bad impression just as quickly and effectively.  The audience thinks, “if they messed up this chart, why should I trust anything else they have to say?”  Then they feel like they have to carefully scrutinize every chart, and you have lost all credibility with your audience.

The NPR piece does a great job of breaking down 14 of the 27 charts from the speech, and even created some corrected charts to show a more realistic real visualization of the data.  I highly recommend you read the whole article on the NPR site.

I’ll mention one more example.  By visualizing data, the designer adds context and bias to the information.  The best designers try to minimize the bias, but even the choices about what data to include in the visualization help frame the audience’s understanding.  One common way to skew perception of the data is to change the scale of one or both of the axes.  A number of slides from the speech don’t start at zero, so the chart exaggerates the changes.  This is a common practice when charting stock values so the audience can see the small changes, but they often make the changes feel much bigger than they actually are.  That was the intent with this chart that only shows the range of values from 400,000 to 550,000.

Stephen Few redesigned this corrected chart for the NPR piece, and I think he nailed it.  By expanding the y-axis to start at 0, he puts the changes over time into a different perspective for the audience.

The White House has published all of the 107 slides as a scribd.com presentation:

 

White House State of the Union 2013 Enhanced Graphics by The White House

Found on the White House blog

Thursday
Feb072013

Syria: The Basics, an infographic presentation

Syria: The Basics is an infographic slide show using the Prezi presentation tool.  It plays like a movie, and does a great job utilizing the new features of Prezi like Fade-In animation and Audio Overlay.

Designed by Lara Setrakian (@Lara), co-founder and managing editor of Syria Deeply, a single issue news website.  Fantastic design work!  The presentation utilizes data visualization design concepts including relative sizing to put the size of the country into perspective, a timeline layout of events, related news photos and world map information.

Syria: The Basics, an infographic presentation