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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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Consulting | Data Visualizations

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Entries in science (16)

Monday
Aug112014

12 Reasons Your Business Needs to Get Visual

12 Reasons Your Business Needs to Get Visual infographic

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times… but once more wont hurt! Visuals are important!!! This infographic from re:DESIGN attempts to summarize the reasons why in 12 Reasons Your Business Needs to Get Visual.

The shift to the visual is evident everywhere we look, in all media — the infographic explains why.

A good, strong visual married to a good concept — with the right strategy and the right words — wins every time, especially in today’s busy, noisy media world. One thing is clear: visuals and all that traditional creative expertise brings to the table has never been more important for capturing eyeballs, expanding brand influence, and getting people to act.

Love the message and most of the points included.  Good choice of images for each section. However, big fonts are not data visualizations and the infographic looks like it’s pushing the use of bigger fonts instead of visuals. Data shown in a big font does not provide the audience with any context, not do they make the data easier to understand.

I also noticed the popular false statistic included in the design: “Visual data is processed by the brain 60,000 times faster than text.”  It’s a statistic often quoted in presentations and infographics about the value of visual information, but it’s not true.  I’d love for this statistic to be real, but no one has been able to track down the original research.  It was used decades ago in some 3M marketing materials for transparencies used with overhead projectors (yes, that long ago).  It’s quoted so often now that everyone believes it.

If this topic interestes you, check out Chapter 1 of my book, Cool Infographics, called The Science of Infographics.  There I cover the research and data behind why visual information is more effective and why infographics are so popular.  You can download a free sample PDF of the chapter on the BOOK page.

Found on re:DESIGN

Monday
Jun302014

The Periodic Table of Fictional Minerals

The Periodic Table of Fictional Minerals infographic

Periodic tables are always helpful whether your in chemistry class, or reading an infographic that uses the idea! The Periodic Table of Fictional Minerals infographic from Buy Metal Online is about the many different fictional materials made up for tv shows, animated series, games, comic books, films, and literature.

This infographic we have made is a periodic table of metals, minerals and other elements that don’t exist, except in popular culture (notably films, TV shows, animated series, games, comic books and literature). The table is a fun play on the real-life periodic table and demonstrates just how many fictional elements there are.

Infographic images need to be able to be shared on their own, so the design should include the publisher’s logo, a copyright and the uRL to the original infographic landing page.

Thanks to David for sending in the link! 

Thursday
Jun122014

The Evolution of Life Poster

The Evolution & Classification of Life poster

This beautiful “tree of life” poster does two things at once:

First, it shows how over 250 common plants, animals, and microbes are classified by biologists into domains, kingdoms, phyla, orders, families, and genera.

Second, it shows where each group fits into the evolutionary history of life according to the most up-to-date genetic research.

It also includes several extinct groups, featuring artwork by paleo-artists John Gurche and Nobu Tamura.

 

A “Tree of Life” in a 24” X 36” poster form, The Evolution & Classification of Life poster was designed by Matt Baker from Useful Charts, and and can be purchased on Amazon for $24.95.

There is good use of color to help organize the tree and allow the reader to understand the major section breaks.  Having the pictures of the animals as the main focus of the tree, rather than their names keeps the poster clean and not too cluttered.

Great job Matt!

Friday
May092014

Comics That Ask "What If?"

Randall Monroe, author of my favorite web comic XKCD, gave a great TEDTalk about answering science and math questions with his comics.  One of the best parts of this video, and the web comic series in general, is that he uses hand-drawn data visualizations and illustrations to answer them, which makes them easier to understand.

Web cartoonist Randall Munroe answers simple what-if questions (“what if you hit a baseball moving at the speed of light?”) using math, physics, logic and deadpan humor. In this charming talk, a reader’s question about Google’s data warehouse leads Munroe down a circuitous path to a hilariously over-detailed answer — in which, shhh, you might actually learn something.

Pre-order or watch for his new book, “What If?” to be released in September 2014!

Friday
May242013

How Many Alien Civilizations are there in the Galaxy?

How May Alien Civilizations are There in the Galaxy? infographic

Very cool!  The How Many Alien Civilizations are there in the Galaxy? infographic from BBC was designed by Information is Beautiful to illustrate the Drake equation. The Drake equation is an equation used to calculate how many potential aliens may exist in the Milky Way Galaxy.

Today, we live in an age of exploration, where robots on Mars and planet-hunting telescopes are beginning to allow us to edge closer to an answer.

While we wait to establish contact, one technique we can use back on Earth is an equation that American astronomer Frank Drake formulated in the 1960s to calculate the number of detectable extraterrestrial civilizations may exist in the Milky Way galaxy.

It is not a rigorous equation, offering a wide range of possible answers. Instead it is more a tool used to help understand how many worlds might be out there and how those estimates change as missions like Kepler, a telescope that is currently searching for Earth-like planets, begin to discover more about our universe.

Until ground-based observations, space telescopes and planet-roving robots uncover any tell-tale signs of life, what better way to speculate on how many intelligent alien civilizations may exist than to explore the universe with our interactive version of the equation.

It’s actually an interactive infographic because it let’s the user change the assumptions and recalculate the results.  So if you only believe there is a 50% chance of plant life developing, change the assumption value and recalculate.

Found on FastCo Design.

Tuesday
May212013

DNA Explained

BBC Knowledge Explainer DNA from Territory on Vimeo.

 

An animated visual explanation of DNA found on creativeblog.com.

BBC Knowledge and Learning is exploring a wide variety of topics from social history to science in a series of three-minute online Explainer documentaries, and commissioned Territory Studio (territorystudio.com) to produce an animated film on the subject of DNA.

Three minutes is a short time to explore a subject where most doctorates only scratch the surface, so writer Andrew S. Walsh teamed up with molecular biologist Dr Matthew Adams to distil the script down to the most fundamental elements required to understand not only DNA’s form and function but how our understanding of these discoveries has affected the wider world. While this length may feel restrictive, the team found that this limitation acted as a lens, focusing the piece on the essentials.

The Explainer series is designed to intrigue and inform, encouraging those who discover the documentaries to further explore through links to additional information found on the BBC website.

Thanks to Jordan from sayitvisually.com for sending in the link!

Tuesday
Nov272012

Sheldon's T-Shirts of The Big Bang Theory

Sheldon's T-Shirts of The Big Bang Theory infographic

If you have seen the comedy show The Big Bang Theory, then you know Sheldon…. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it and get back to us.  Have you ever noticed his wardrobe?  The Sheldon’s T-Shirts infographic from fibers.com tells you his favorite shirts, how often he wears his shirts, and even what colors he wears the most! 

Graphs, Charts and illustrated T-Shirts with correlating sizes to wearing frequency - would there be any other way to visualize Sheldon Cooper’s t-shirt collection from The Big Bang Theory? We think not.

Big thanks to Sheldon’s Shirts where we got most of the data for this graphic. You can find a lot of Sheldon’s Shirts for purchase on the following websites:

This is just a fun infographic that uses some data visualization to appeal to fans of the show.  Good design using publicly available data that has been complied in an engaging way.

The charts actually very well done.  Charts are color-coded to match the data.  Icons are included on the bars or in the pie slices, so no chart legends are needed.  This makes the data faster and easier to understand.

Found on Fibers.com

Friday
Nov162012

Choosing the Right Line - The Science of Corners

Choosing the Right Line- The Science of Corners infographic

Choosing the Right Line- The Science of Corners infographic is a design about Motocross.  Motocrossgear.com takes the science of successfully navigating corners in motocross racing and brings it to the infographic world. 

Since the beginning of racing, riders have been faced with many choices on the track. The fastest rider is often the one who chooses the best lines on the track. Many factors exist when deciding which line to take through a corner. Use this visual guide to help you pick the fastest line.

Not a design based on a lot of data, this visual explanation relies more on diagrams to communicate the message.  In general, I really like the design style that reinforces the feel of motorcross, but in my opinion this could be a better design with less text.

Thanks to John for sending in the link!

Thursday
Apr052012

The Fiction to Reality Timeline

The Fiction to Reality Timeline infographic from attsavings.com brings all of cool gadgets from the future in movies into the present.  Anything is possible!

Do you remember “Star Trek” and all the great gadgets the crew members used in each episode? Or the fancy gizmos from “The Jetsons” or “Minority Report?” Ever wonder when, or if, we’ll invent technology like what we’ve seen in the fictional universe? Satisfy your craving for fictional tech with The Fiction to Reality Timeline.

Although I disagree that some of their actual technology references are the first time certain technologies have appeared in the modern world, the overall message is clear.  Things like Heads-Up Displays have been around in fighter cockpits for much longer, and the iPad wasn’t the first portable display device, just the first mainstream commercially successful device.

I couldn’t figure out if the line colors had any meaning.  Are they color-coded to match some type of category?

Where’s my flying car?!?

Thanks to Ryan for sending the link!

Tuesday
Mar132012

10 Irish Inventions that Changed the World

With St. Patrick’s Day coming up this weekend, I thought i would share the 10 Irish Inventions that Changed the World infographic from GoIreland.com explores 10 of the greatest Irish inventions ever.

Ireland: The land of saints and scholars, right? Well, sort-of. Whatever about saints, this little island has certainly produced its fair share of clever clogs. For a country that makes no secret of some pretty audacious claims to fame (we even tried to claim that Barack Obama guy as one of our own!!), we have been remarkably quiet about some outstanding Irish inventions.

Modern chemistry? Tick. Color photography? Tick. Both Irish inventions, and, as you can see from the infographic, there are many more. And when it comes to refreshing beverages, it’s not just Guinness that should come to mind. Raise a toast to soda water and chocolate milk, both Irish inventions to rival the black stuff.

Certainly more narrative than data visualizations, but they picked some fun and interesting inventions to include.  There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the sequence of events; they’re certainly not in chronological order.  I did notice that in the Atomic Bomb section, the visualization for 600,000 Volts actually shows 800,000 Volts.

Three things are missing from the bottom of the design: a copyright statement, the URL where readers can find the original infographic landing page and credit to the designer(s).

Thanks to Aidan for sending in the link!