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Randy Krum infographic designerRandy Krum
President of InfoNewt.
Data Visualization and Infographic Design

Infographic Design

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Caffeine Poster

The Caffeine Poster infographic

Friday
May272016

The Infographic Resume by Hannah Morgan: Interview & Giveaway2

The Infographic Resume is a fabulous book by Hannah Morgan from Career Sherpa! I have a chapter dedicated to infographic resumes in my book, Cool Infographics, but this is the only entire book I've seen dedicated to infographic resumes anywhere. Find more on Hannah's book page.

This month I am giving away one signed copy of The Infographic Resume! Register on the Giveaways Page by June 30th to be entered.

Infographic resumes are in, and they’re not just for designers. Free online tools are popping up every day to help anyone create a dynamic, visual resume—adding panache without sacrificing substance for style.

The Infographic Resume provides essential tips and ideas for how to create visual resumes and portfolios that will make you stand out from the crowd. Richly illustrated in full color and including lots of inspiring examples, the book will teach you how to:

  • Create a powerful digital presence and develop the right digital content for your goals
  • Build your self-brand and manage your online reputation
  • Showcase your best work online
  • Grab a hiring manager’s attention in seconds

Packed with dynamic infographics, visual resumes, and other creative digital portfolios, The Infographic Resume reveals the most effective tools, eye-catching strategies, and best practices to position yourself for any job in any kind of business.

Everyone should follow Hannah Morgan on Twitter (@careersherpa)! She shares her wisdom and insights on resumes, hiring and career issues openly. You can download her Infographic Resume Cheat Sheet, and she maintains a Pinterest Board gallery of Infographic and Visual Resumes.

 

Hannah answered a handful of questions about The Infographic Resume:

How would you define an infographic resume?

Hannah: An infographic resume converts your work experience into visual pieces such as charts and graphs. Instead of finding the right words to write about your skills and achievements, you can present the most important parts of your experience visually. While this may sound difficult for some people, especially those without design skills, it can actually be liberating. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Chapter 1 was great! Could you summarize your chapter on How We Got Where We Are Today?

Hannah: You may have noticed infographics and other visual elements appearing more often in newspapers, marketing materials and social media than in the past. We are inundated with information and rely on our smart phones for on-the-go access. Reading large blocks of text takes time and it is even more difficult to read on a mobile device. Studies indicate that the brain processes pictures faster than words. Other studies say pictures increase comprehension, increase the time people spend on a website, and increase sharing of updates on social media. Job seekers can leverage these trends to their advantage. Savvy job seekers know today’s job market is highly competitive. To make matters worse, almost every company has an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) which typically weeds out candidates and results in the dreaded “black hole” of no response. Technology has enabled job seekers to break out of the standard “apply online and wait” mold. By applying out-of-the-box marketing strategies such as social media campaigns, personal websites and infographic resumes, job seekers can do more to stand out and garner the attention they crave (and deserve). 

How would you describe the current state of the market for infographic resumes?

Hannah: Infographic resumes deviate from the expected and that is the very reason to use one. Most job seekers will not use one either because they don’t know about them, don’t know how to create on or think it would be risky to try and use one. In my opinion, the rewards outweigh the risk. Go ahead, use an infographic resume.

What are some of the more unexpected jobs or careers that you have seen candidates use an infographic resume?

Hannah: The early adopters of infographic resumes were people who had graphic design skills. But infographic resumes are being created by technical writers, sales representatives, information technology specialists and many other types of occupations. Infographic resumes demonstrate creativity and innovative thinking which are qualities valued in marketing departments, information technology, and start-up organizations, just to name a few. Consider the culture of the organization and the requirements of the role to help determine if an infographic resume might be successful opening doors.

Are there any risks associated with infographic resumes?

Hannah: There are some things you should know before you use an infographic resume. First, and foremost, do not use infographic resumes when submitting through applicant tracking systems! The technology used in ATSs cannot read visual content. You should also take into consideration who you are sending your infographic resume to. Typically, people in human resource and recruiting roles expect to see the traditional, conservative text resume. These roles often have to review hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes and do not have time to search your infographic for skills and work history. A better strategy is to send your infographic resume to the actual hiring manager or to a contact you have made inside the organization. Infographic resumes also make a great addition to your LinkedIn profile as embedded media in the summary section. If you have a personal website or online portfolio, an infographic resume works well there too. If you are proactively networking with people in your field of interest, bring your infographic resume to the meeting and share it to guide the conversation. And why not bring an infographic resume to an interview to impress the interviewers?

What types of reactions to infographic resumes are you hearing from hiring managers and recruiters?

Hannah:  About a year ago, I polled the recruiters, human resource professionals and career coaches in my network to get their feedback on infographic resumes and the overwhelming response was positive. In fact, 68 percent said they would look at an infographic resume, 32 percent said it would depend and no one said that they wouldn’t look at one. Here are some of the comments I received: 

“I would welcome a fresh, newer idea, which this is, as opposed to the same old resume.” -Hiring Manager

“Shows some creativity.”  -Other

“Yes! I would be thrilled with the creativity, and it would definitely be a resume that would stand out from the pack.” – Hiring Manager

“Yes, because normal resumes are boring.” -Other

Do you have your own infographic resume that I could share?

Hannah: Since I don’t have design skills, I rely on tools that convert my LinkedIn profile into an infographic resume, like this one created using vizualize.me. There are so many tools available to help create infographics so even people without design skills or familiarity with design software can dabble in infographics. I’ve written about four of those tools here: http://careersherpa.net/4-templates-for-infographic-resumes/

 

Hannah's Bio:

Hannah Morgan is the Founder, CareerSherpa.net and a Job Search Strategist. She is a speaker and author on  job search and social media strategies. She delivers fresh advice and serves as a guide to the treacherous terrain of today’s workplace landscape. Hannah’s experience in Human Resources, Outplacement Services, Workforce Development and Career Services equip her with a 360 degree perspective on job search topics. Recognized by media and career professionals, Hannah is an advocate who encourages job seekers to take control of their job search. Hannah is frequently quoted in local and national publications and she writes a weekly column for U.S. News & World Report.

Hannah is the author of “The Infographic Resume” (McGraw Hill Education, 2014) and co-author of “Social Networking for Business Success” (Learning Express, 2013). You can learn more about Hannah on CareerSherpa.net and by following her on Twitter at @careersherpa.

Tuesday
May242016

Massive Infographic of Star Wars A New Hope

Star Wars A New Hope Infographic

This is a massive infographic depicting the entire story of Star Wars IV: A New Hope. Printed it measures 123m long (over 400ft). Online this infographic is 1,024 pixels wide by 465,152 pixels long! Designed by illustrator and graphic novelist Martin Panchaud, it was designed in Adobe Illustrator CC.

SWANH.NET is an adaptation of Star Wars Episode IV in a style that was inspired by infographics. One story in one piece of 123 meters length.

It was created with Adobe Illustrator CC in 2016. Its exact measures are: 1024 x 465152 px / 27 x 12307 cm / 10.6 x 4845.3-inch

This long ribbon reminds the ancient Chinese script rolls that had to be rolled in and rolled out simultaneously in order to be read. I like this stretch between ages, cultures, and technologies.

However, internet likes short stories and summaries, quickly understandable contents. With my work I aimed to create a contrast to that.

These are only a few small pieces. You go immediately to the SWANH site to view the entire, fantastic infographic!

 

Martin also posted a number of great images as a Making Of feature to show the development process of the infographic.

Monday
May232016

Dogs Hate Hugs

Dogs Hate Hugs infographic

The Dogs Hate Hugs infographic from Pet Insurance U reveals the surprising fact that dogs really don't like being hugged.

This infographic shows humans why, in spite of this whole hugging fiasco, dogs are still your best friends. Do dogs hate hugs? Researchers studied pictures of humans hugging dogs, and 81.6% of the dogs showed visible signs of distress, discomfort, stress or anxiety.

Designed by NowSourcing, this is a good example of an infographic highlighting an insight that is probably surprising to the audience. Infographics should share some insight or knowledge learned from data research that will actually teach the readers something new.

I have one major issue with the way they visualized their data. The statistic of "Oxytocin levels rise by 57.2% when dogs play with their owners" is visualized with a non-zero baseline, making the increase in the bar chart appear to by a 10x difference. This visualization is extremely misleading. Don't adjust the scale of the y-axis to over-emphasize a change in the data!

Thanks to Brian for sending in the link!

Thursday
May192016

Sizing Up Sharks

Sizing Up Sharks infographic National Geographic

The design team at National Geographic has published a beautiful size comparison infographic: Sizing Up Sharks, the Lords of the Sea. The parallax scrolling keeps you, the reference deep sea diver, in frame as a comparison to provide perspective for each of the various types of sharks.

Sharks range in size from largest fish on the planet to the length of your palm. See how you compare to some of these vulnerable predators that are so crucial to the ocean's health.

The tooth Illustrations are not in scale with the fish, but all the teeth are in scale to each other to show relative tooth sizes. For some reason, only a few of the smaller sharks species are shown with both the small end and high end of their size ranges.

Sizing Up Sharks infographic Great White

This engaging infographic tells one story really, really well without adding too much other data that would have cluttered the design. The diver animation and underwater sounds are a nice touch.

Thanks to Chiqui Esteban (@chiquiesteban) for posting the link!

The massive Megalodon!

Sizing Up Sharks infographic Megalodon

Tuesday
May172016

Even Major News Outlets Get DataViz Wrong

 

Data visualization can be the most powerful, inspiring, and effective tool of a storyteller—as long as it’s accurate. However, a visualization can go horribly wrong if the designer uses the design tool incorrectly or gets the math wrong.

All too often, the underlying data is correct, but the visualization doesn’t accurately represent the corresponding values. Most of the time, it’s safe to chalk up the false visualization to an honest mistake by the designer, because it’s actually easier than you think.

Take a bubble chart, for example. A great visualization method, but it’s a common source of flawed dataviz. The reason is that design software only allows scaling or width and height adjustments to size shapes. So designers, upon reviewing the data, will sometimes mistakenly scale a circle's diameter instead of the circle’s area. This, in turn, produces radically incorrect sizes. The approach has logic to it (to some degree), but it’s inherently wrong. What should instead be done takes a bit of geometry and a spreadsheet.

“Just think about it: if you tell a software tool to scale something 200 percent, it will make it twice as tall and twice as wide. Therefore, you aren’t doubling the size of your original circle. You’re making it four time larger.”

- The Truthful Art, Alberto Cairo (@albertocairo)

For a real-world example of this problem, take a look at CNN’s recent “ISIS goes global: 90 attacks in 21 countries have killed nearly 1,400 people,” an insightful article, serious topic, credible source with inaccurate data visualizations. Unsurprisingly, it’s a bubble chart at fault. Assuming the data gathered by CNN is accurate, the maps included in the article don’t match the data and are way off.

CNN ISIS Goes Global Incident Map Bad DataViz

Take a close look and the size key. The circle size for five incidents is clearly shown as five times the diameter of the circle for only one incident, which creates a circle for “5 incidents” that is actually 25 TIMES LARGER, not five times larger. This drastically over emphasizes the locations on the map for the Middle East! I’ve designed the correct sizes so you can see what the bubble sizes should be.

CNN ISIS Circles DataViz Key Corrected

“It’s key for data visualization designers to understand that we visually compare the sizes of objects based on the their area (not their height). Numerical values are one-dimensional, but objects on a page or screen are two-dimensional. This is where designers need to remember to use the math learned from high-school geometry class. If you didn’t do well in geometry, it’s time to take another look.”

- Cool Infographics, Randy Krum (@rtkrum)

Bubble charts are in no way the only kind of dataviz that lends itself to mishaps. In print, broadcast, and online, you’ll see a variety of charts incorrectly showing the data — pie charts not adding up to 100%, logo sizes that don’t match the data, lines of icons with a different quantity than the data, etc.

Inaccurate dataviz certainly doesn’t always happen by accident either. Creating deceptive visual context is an unethical tactic employed by researchers, companies and publications alike, typically to promote a persuasive argument. Differences can be blown out of proportion or hidden by changing the axis scale or ignoring relevant data.

Once you start looking at data visualizations as a critical thinking reader, you’ll start notice many charts that don’t match the data. Always look to make sure the designer accurately represented the information before you take any data visualization at face value.

Tuesday
May172016

Election Exodus - Moving to Canada?

Election Exodus - Moving to Canada infographic

Frustrated by the U.S. Presidential candidates? Ready to just pack up and move the Canada? The Election Exodus infographic from SpareFoot looks closer at what it would take for Americans to move North to Canada.

Trump or Clinton.

The prospective of either of these presidential frontrunners emerging victorious in November is too much for many Americans to bear.

A shocking number of U.S. citizens would consider a move to Canada—15 percent if Hillary Clinton is elected and 20 percent if Donald Trump is elected, according to recent polls.  (To be fair, we’re willing to bet there would be plenty of supposed defectors under President Sanders or Cruz as well.)

The question remains: How serious are these people? And how hard is it to move to Canada?

The answers to these questions and more lie below:

Designed by NowSourcing, this is a visually busy take on the side-by-side comparison style of infographic. A lot of text, and many of the statistics are not visualized, which makes it harder for readers to understand all of the information.

Thanks to Brian for sending in the link!

Monday
May162016

Kung Fu Motion Visualization

Kung Fu Motion Visualization from Tobias Gremmler on Vimeo.

Kung Fu Motion Visualization is a fabulous visualization project by Tobias Gremmler. Using motion capture data from Chinese Kung Fu, Tobias is able to create various 3D models showing shape and volume. Designed for an exhibition hosted by the International Guoshu Association in Hong Kong.

When working on this project, I was deeply inspired by the dynamics of motion and philosophy of Kung Fu. The work was commissioned by International Guoshu Association for an Kung Fu exhibition, initiated by Hing Chao. The exhibition focuses on the legacy of Hakka martial arts in Hong Kong and will launch in Hong Kong in September. The Kung Fu Masters whose motions has been captured are: Master Wong Yiu Kau (Variation 1-3) and Master Li Shek Lin (Variation 3,4).

Visualizing the invisible is always fascinating, and motion visualizations have been created even in pre-digital times with light, photography, costumes or paintings. I have described some of the methods that I applied in this work in my book "Grids for the Dynamic Images", published 2003.

Kung Fu Motion Visualization 

Also published on YouTube (in case you have trouble viewing the video from Vimeo):

 

Thanks to Jan for sharing. Also found on Colossal and Ignant.

Friday
May132016

American Slavery Maps

American Slavery Maps Infographic

Bill Rankin at Radical Cartography has created nine uniform grid maps of American Slavery covering each decade from 1790 to 1870. I've combined them into the animated GIF you see above. Bill took a new approach in analyzing the historical data by 250 square mile units instead of the traditional data by county.

The gradual decline of slavery in the north was matched by its explosive expansion in the south, especially with the transition from the longstanding slave areas along the Atlantic coast to the new cotton plantations of the Lower South. And although the Civil War by no means ended the struggle for racial equality, it marked a dramatic turning point; antebellum slavery was a robust institution that showed no signs of decline.

Mapping slavery presents a number of difficult problems. The vast majority of maps — both old and new — use the county as the unit of analysis. But visually, it is tough to compare small and large counties; the constant reorganization of boundaries in the west means that comparisons across decades are tricky, too. And like all maps that shade large areas using a single color, typical maps of slavery make it impossible to see population density and demographic breakdown at the same time. (Should a county with 10,000 people and 1,000 slaves appear the same as one that has 100 people and 10 slaves?)

My maps confront these problems in two ways. First, I smash the visual tyranny of county boundaries by using a uniform grid of dots. The size of each dot shows the total population in each 250-sqmi cell, and the color shows the percent that were slaves. But just as important, I've also combined the usual county data with historical data for more than 150 cities and towns. Cities usually had fewer slaves, proportionally, than their surrounding counties, but this is invisible on standard maps. Adding this data shows the overwhelming predominance of slaves along the South Carolina coast, in contrast to Charleston; it also shows how distinctive New Orleans was from other southern cities. These techniques don't solve all problems (especially in sparsely populated areas), but they substantially refocus the visual argument of the maps — away from arbitrary jurisdictions and toward human beings.

For a graphic explanation of this technique, see here.

I appreciate him explaining his map technique! Each decade is a separate high-resolution map image, but Bill also created a fantastic combined map showing the highest Peak Slavery levels of slavery throughout the entire time period.

The bottom map shows the peak number of slaves in each area, along with the year when slavery peaked. Except in Delaware, Maryland, and eastern Virginia, slavery in the south was only headed in one direction: up. Cartographically, this map offers a temporal analysis without relying on a series of snapshots (either a slideshow or an animation), and it makes it clear that a static map is perfectly capable of representing a dynamic historical process.

American Slavery Peak Map

 

Additionally, you can download a high-resolution poster version showing all nine decades:

American Slavery Maps Poster


 Found on FlowingData and CityLab

Wednesday
May112016

The Growth of the Internet of Things

Growth in the Internet of Things Infographic

The current projection data from Cisco is that the IoT (Internet of Things) will reach 50 Billion devices by the year 2020! Visualized by the NCTA (National Cable & Telecommunications Association) as the Growth in the Internet of Things.

Today’s Internet is driven by wired and wireless networks, keeping us connected throughout our daily lives. With the advent of new digital devices that constantly link us to the Internet, these networks have become much more than just a simple vehicle for information and communications. They now enable us to track our daily habits, monitor our health, manage home energy use and track nearly any other data we can imagine. These devices make up what we call the Internet of Things – a web of connected objects that are linked via networks that can interact with each other and with us.

The Internet isn’t merely developing, it’s exploding, and the numbers prove it. Take a look at our graphic below — it shows the advancing surge of connected devices using the Internet.

Today, there are more connected devices than there are human beings on the planet. This expansion isn’t just from cell phones, tablets and computers – it’s thanks to toothbrushes, stovetops and millions of other devices that now have IP addresses. Estimates show that there will be over 50 billion connected devices by 2020.

Fast, ubiquitous Wi-Fi and increasing home broadband speeds will drive the Internet of Things and the ever-expanding web.

A clean and simple line chart tells this story very well. Notice that the chart was designed with many of the principles for storytelling in data visualization we discuss every day.

  • No chart legend. The data is shown directly in the chart
  • Minimal gridlines to simplify reading the chart and clean up the visual noise gridlines create
  • No separate data table. The relevant numbers are shown directly in the chart
  • Minimal axis labels (you don't need to show every year)
  • Use of visual icons to help communicate each milestone. 

Suggestion: I would move the icons and data much closer to the actual data points on the chart. There are too many connecting lines.

Thanks to Heather for sharing on Linkedin!

Tuesday
May102016

What's Your Ideal Workplace?

What's Your Ideal Workplace? infographic

Based on your own individual personality, the What's Your Ideal Workplace? infographic from Quill.com examines the best types of office environments to maximize your work performance.

Are you looking for a new position in a more fitting workplace? Or are you attempting to create an office setup that will maximize your employees’ skills? This infographic will help you match common work personality types with their ideal office spaces, from cubicles and open workspaces to co-working and work from home options.

Don’t know your work personality? Take the test.

Many companies are just beginning to realize that workplace design directly impacts employee performance, yet research shows that 3 in 4 U.S. workers are not in optimal workplace environments.

I love the connection to taking your own work personality test. This makes the infographic design personal and relevant to each individual reader. It's informative, but personal.

The illustration of each different workplace layout helps readers understand the differences almost instantly. It's a design with conceptual illustrations, but the statistics are also visualized, making them easier to understand as well. The personality color-coding is consistent throughout the design.

Great layout on the infographic landing page as well. Descriptive text with links, social sharing buttons, the full infographic and embed code at the bottom. The URL of the landing page is also included in the infographic image file itself, to make it easy to find the original, full-size version from sites that share but don't link. Everything needed to make it easy to find and easy to share.

Thanks to Cheryl for sharing the link!