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Randy Krum
President of InfoNewt.
Data Visualization and Infographic Design

Infographic Design

Infographics Design | Presentations
Consulting | Data Visualizations

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Entries in infographics (31)

Wednesday
Nov292017

Cool Infographics Book Giveaway December 2017

During December 2017, I am giving away one signed copy of my book Cool Infographics

Register on the Giveaways Page by December 15, 2017 to be entered.

I posted this on the Giveaways page in November but forgot to mention it here, so I'm extending the registration deadline until December 15th.

You can always download a free chapter from the Book page to get a sample from the 1st chapter, The Science of Infographics.

A cool infographic tells a story visually —an engaging story built with your data. More than just using pictures or colorful charts, infographics create the type of visual information that your audience will quickly grasp and remember.  Inside, the fundamentals of infographics are clearly explained for both novices and experienced professionals.

Monday
Apr242017

Cool Infographics Book in Chinese!

I was finally able to get my own printed copy of the Chinese translated version of the Cool Infographics book! According to my publisher, Wiley, it has been translated into Simplified Chinese, and Orthodox Chinese, Korean and Russian versions are still in the works. The Chinese version is available in the US through Amazon.

Of course, the only way I can tell what the Chinese translation says is to translate it back into English with the Google Translate app. They translated the title "Cool Infographics" into 可视化沟通, which translates back to English as "Visual Communication". I know the app isn't perfect, but you can get the general meaning.

Just under 5% of the Cool Infographics web traffic comes from China, so I know there are a lot of fans there.

 

I had to work with the Wiley editors to get the chapter colors to show up along the page edges. My thoughts were that it's a visual communication book, and you should be able to find the chapters visually! The translated version got that right too:

 

 

Thursday
Dec082016

Talking Infographics on The PolicyViz Podcast

This week, I was the guest on The PolicyViz Podcast hosted by Jon Schwabish! It was a great conversation about infographics, storytelling in charts, my design pet peeves, dataviz tools, my infographic design process and the past, present and future of infographics!

BONUS: Listen to the episode for directions to enter in the drawing for a signed copy of the Cool Infographics book!

Friday
Sep162016

Mapping the Disciplines of User Experience Design

Mapping the Disciplines of User Experience Design infographic

Mapping the Disciplines of User Experience Design is an uber-complex Venn Diagram. The original concept by Dan Saffer at KickerStudio was given a clean DataViz overhaul by Thomas Gläser who was with envis precisely at the time.

An infographic approach to visualize all players of the interactive field

. It shows the different areas and how they connect and overlap.

The diagram is based on the work of Dan Saffer

It's a couple years old, but all of the files were published on Github under Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution-ShareAlike so anyone can Adpapt or Improve the design going froward.

You can see the original concept from Dan Shaffer here:

Found on FastCoDesign

Saturday
Feb272016

Using Visuals to Enhance Your Credibility

Infographics and visuals have become the lifeblood of storytellers, be it marketers, professors, presenters, etc. They are constantly battling short attention spans, information overload, and little vested interest from their audience. The smart marketer knows their target, and comes with a battle plan to defend against all of these things. This is where visuals come in.

Reasons to Use Visuals

We’ve relied on visuals for everything from street signs and movie banners to websites and presentations. Using visuals to express information has long been a part of our history. Here are just a few more reasons to use them in your presentations and marketing efforts:

1.     Getting Attention

A visual makes information stand out more than just text alone. Studies estimate that between 50-80% of the human brain is dedicated to forms of visual processing.

On social media, they simply take up more real estate than their text only counterparts. A post with some type of visual content has 94% more total views on average than content without images, according to MDG advertising.

2.     Simplicity

As humans, we’re simply wired to receive rich visual information, and can understand more complex information when it is presented visually. Infographics are a great way to provide your audience with context when displaying statistics that are otherwise meaningless.

3.     Credibility

Credibility is one of the biggest reasons to use visuals. Put a statistic in an article and it is questioned. Put a statistic in a visual and it is fact.

In fact, every form of visual information lends credibility to what is presented. 46.1% of people say a website’s design is the number one way to determine the credibility of a company, according to the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab.

This works the same way in presentations. In 1986, a 3M-sponsored study at the University of Minnesota School of Management found that presenters who use visual aids are 43% more effective in persuading audience members to take a desired course of action.

Use This Power Responsibly

In light of this information, it is important to use this responsibly. Providing accurate information is the most important thing content marketers and visual storytellers will do. No matter how beautifully crafted your infographic or visual is, it can be destroyed by one misrepresented fact, or out-of-context statistic.


Wednesday
Dec302015

Designing Infographics That Last

The web is inundated with new content on an hourly basis. So much so that it can be hard for any content to stand out. Readers have an attention span shorter than a goldfish! With trending hashtags, sponsored posts and the brevity of posting with fewer than 140 characters, hot trending topics often play a factor in the success of your infographics. But it doesn’t have to. 

While we’re busy flitting from one project to the next, always looking ahead, it’s possible to lose track of our content once it has passed the design phase. But the long-term success of your content relies on more than just good design. I define the Online Lifespan of your infographic as the amount of time it remains relevant to the audience, and it plays a huge role in the measurable success of your content. 

First, you need to determine your project’s goals. What is your goal for this infographic? Are you looking for a short-term boost in traffic? Or are you looking to post content that readers will view and share for years to come? 

Sometimes your infographic works with an online lifespan somewhere in between. For example, the annual “Death & Taxes” poster visualizes the Federal Budget and has a lifespan of a year before its information becomes outdated when a new budget is released.

Death and Taxes poster infographic

SOURCE: Timeplots

If you’re looking for longevity, however, choosing a lasting topic for your content can work to your advantage. Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • More bang for your buck: It essentially costs you the same amount of time and resources to design an infographic with a short online lifespan as it would for a design with a long lifespan. You spend the same amount of time and effort in your design and research, but gain two very different results.
  • Visibility: No one will be searching for the Top 10 Christmas Traditions in 2015 after December 25, 2015, so all of your traffic needs to happen within a short period of time. A longer-lasting way to frame this infographic would be to create a timeline of Christmas traditions over the last few hundred years. Although this isn’t typically “evergreen” content, you’ll see a resurgence of traffic every year around Christmas time. Without a hard end-date, your infographics can live on driving views, backlinks and social shares for years to come.

History of Christmas Traditions infographic

SOURCE: Balsam Hill

  • Less maintenance: Once you’ve created a piece of evergreen content, there’s little to no maintenance necessary to keep your content relevant.

While there are situations where trendy and timely content can work in your favor, creating content with a longer online lifespan can lead to longer lasting success. It all comes down to the topic choice and the type of data.

Selecting your topic is the most important factor in determining the online lifespan of your infographic. Jumping on a breaking news topic is a great way to get your client some quick visibility, but does little to increase its long-term exposure. However, coming up with truly evergreen content like the infographic below will keep your content relevant long after you’ve created it. 

Wine and Food Pairing Chart infographic

SOURCE: Wine Folly

Keep these goals in mind when selecting a topic for your next infographic. A blend of trending topics and evergreen content can build a very robust content strategy.

Tuesday
Sep082015

DataViz & Infographics Fall Course at SMU CAPE

Cool Infographics Course at SMU

Infographics & Data Visualization Design

September 24-November 12, 2015 | 6pm-9pm Thursday Evenings | SMU CAPE Plano Campus | $595

$75 off discount code for Cool Infographics readers: RK215

This Fall, I will again be teaching a course as part of the CAPE program (Continuing and Professional Education). This time the course will be at a new location at the SMU Plano Campus. This is a very hands-on course where participants will start to develop better charts, infographics and your own infographic resume. Topics include:

  • The art and science of data visualization and infographics
  • The data visualization and infographics design process
  • Data analytics and basic statistics for the designer
  • Different chart types, dashboards and graphing options
  • How to use the various software and online tools readily available and when to use them
  • Strategies for publishing and promoting infographics online
  • Understanding IP, trademark and copyright issues and how they relate to infographics
  • And more...

Please share with anyone in the Dallas area, or join the class yourself. Enrollment is very limited, so register quickly!

Click Here to learn more: bit.ly/SMU-DataViz-Plano


Also check out the DFW Data Visualization & Infographics Meetup group with monthly speakers and events in the Dallas-Fort Worth area!

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.

Tuesday
Jul142015

Pro Tips to Track Results from Infographics

Creating an infographic is no simple task. A lot of time and resources go into the data research and design of a good infographic, but not always into figuring what happened after publishing it on the Internet. Where many companies miss the mark with their infographics is in their tracking efforts after the infographic has been released. Pageviews, social shares, reposts, backlinks, and more are all part of measuring the success of an infographic.

It is important to understand that infographics need as much promotional and tracking support as articles, videos, advertisements, and even the products and services their business is marketing. Learning what works and doesn’t work should be a huge part of future marketing plans.

The work of tracking an infographic starts the day it’s published online. Here are five key areas a company should focus on after they've released an infographic.

 

1. Dedicated Landing Page for Analytics

 

via: CopyBlogger

To make sure you get the most out of your infographic, make sure it is published on the company’s website on a dedicated landing page or if that’s not available, in it’s own blog post. That will provide a dedicated landing page URL as the one primary link in posts to drive all the views and backlinks to one place. By creating a landing page you can access your own web analytics to see pageviews, traffic patterns and referring sites. You also have control over which social sharing buttons to include for default text and sharing statistics.

An often overlooked ally to tracking infographics after their release is your company’s own website analytics. When you examine the metrics of the overall company website, inbound links can become a jackpot for insights about who picked up your content.

Pro Tip:

Use inbound links to keep track of pick-up, and target new outlets for future outreach efforts.

An alternate (or secondary) method would be to publish your infographic on a hosted platform like Visme or SlideShare. These platforms display the infographic within an enclosure that can be embedded and shared on other sites, and gather the analytics from all of the sites displaying the enclosure in one tracking report.


 

2. Track the Value of Backlinks

 

via: Pole Position Marketing

For many companies, the goal of publishing infographics is to attract links and visitors to its own website. To find all of those links, you have to go looking for them.

Pro Tip:

Use an SEO backlink tool like Majestic SEO Site Explorer, Moz Open Site Explorer, or even do a Google search of the full landing page URL (another advantage of having a dedicated landing page URL). These tools will allow you to be able to find all of those valuable backlinks.

Be sure to check the value of links from those sites. One strong link can be worth more than many weak links. Google call this PageRank, Moz calls this Authority, and Majestic calls this Trust. Choose one metric for your tracking so you are comparing the same type of score across all of the sites that link to your infographic landing page.

Go through your list of industry specific websites, blogs, and news media outlets you pitched the infographic to, and search their website to see if anything pops up (wait about a week or two before searching to give time for an article to be written).

 

3. Social Share Counters

 

Social media can be used as a good indicator of how well your content is performing online, especially when looking at social shares from a specific media site pick-up. It’s important to remember that social sharing doesn’t help your own website’s pagerank, but it does build widespread awareness and exposure of your infographic content.

Pro Tips:

a. Use the counters from the social share buttons you set-up on the dedicated landing page.

b. Search Twitter (and other social media sites) for the full URL link to the landing page to find other social media posts that didn’t use your buttons but did link back to the infographic.

c. Check the social share button counters on other sites that reposted the infographic for additional sharing stats.


4. Reverse Image Search

 

When a blogger, media outlet, or journalist has chosen to write about your infographic, it doesn't always mean they will also take the time to include a link back to your website, or will even remember where they found the infographic. Reverse Image Search is a valuable tool to use to find reposts of your infographic that don’t link back to your website..

Reverse Image Search is a service offered by Google, Bing and TinEye. They allow you to drag and drop, upload your own image or choose an image online to start the search. The results will list all of the web pages in their index that include that image, in any size. This is the best way to find sites that posted your infographic without linking back to your landing page.

Via: Google Images

Pro Tip:

Reach out to any high value sites you find that published your infographic but didn’t include a link. Politely thank them for sharing your infographics, and ask them to add a link back to the original landing page.

 

5. Gather Your Results

Pull together all of the results you found into a summary that your company can use as a benchmark to evaluate future published content. Your web analytics, combined social shares, backlinks from sites and image-only posts together paint an overall picture of how well your infographic performed.

via: Razor Social

Pro Tip:

Site that have seen their own success from posting your infographic are more likely to post future infographics from you as well. Start building an outreach list of people and sites that appreciate your content.

 

Even the slightest effort put into tracking your infographic can significantly improve your understanding of the value of visual content. In order to understand it’s value, you have to understand its reach. Then, you can evaluate how your content is performing, and make any changes needed to make future content more likely to garner the pick-up and exposure your team or company seeks.

Remember, you can’t improve what you don’t measure!

Are there any other tracking methods you use to keep track of your infographics or other visual content? How do you measure success for infographic (or any visual content)?

Tuesday
Jun162015

Visme 3.0 Design Platform Launches Improved User Interface

Visme Infographic Templates

Visme is an online design platform, and can be used to create infographics, presentations, banners, reports, and even resumes. With over 200,000 users, Visme is being used by many as a replacement for expensive desktop applications like Microsoft PowerPoint and Adobe Illustrator.

"Visme epitomizes everything we strive for. At the core we are a visualization tool and our mission is to simplify the ability for anyone to easily transform their thoughts and ideas into engaging visual content," - Founder Payman Taei

In April 2015, the team at Hindsite Interactive launched Visme 3.0, a complete redesign, moving to a cleaner, easy-to-use user interface. The redesign has made a major move towards flatter design elements that help users focus on the content they are creating without being distracted by the interface tools.

Visme Flat Design Interface Updates

If you’re not a professional designer that can invest in a high-end hardware and software setup or don’t have the time or budget to hire a professional, Visme is a great platform to create eye-catching visual content with minimal effort. You can start with one of the many professional templates, and then customize your design by changing colors, rearranging the layout, uploading your own images, inserting video, building simple data visualizations using the Graph Tool, or use any of the millions of free icons and images from the huge built-in library.

Specifically for infographics design, the built-in Graph Tool and Infograph Widgets can be very helpful. Although you may import more complex data visualizations created elsewhere, the Graph Tool let’s you build simple charts directly in your design by entering the data and editing the chart settings. This is a huge advantage over many other online design tools that only provide chart shapes and objects that you have to adjust manually to match your data. Accuracy of your data visualizations in an infographic is crucial!

Visme Graph Tool

Here you can see a simple area chart created with the Visme Graph Tool. Over 600 data points were uploaded to create this simple data visualization. Because it was built with the Graph Tool, the chart is editable as the data set continues to grow in the future. The design has been inserted here using the embed code created by the Visme platform to display the chart. As future updates are made to the chart on the Visme site, the most current version will always be displayed here. For infographics, you can update the data in your design, and every site that uses the embed code will always display the latest version of your design.

Original: http://my.visme.co/projects/growth-of-infographics-in-search-613ce1

 Personally, I’d like to see the Graph Tool expand into more visualization styles, and give the users more ability to customize the charts it creates. It’s pretty good with the simple charts, but I hope this is only the starting point for the Visme team. I hear that improvements to the Graph Tool are in the plan for release later this year.

Infographics are made to be shared, and the Visme tool gives you plenty of options. In addition to embed code for both animated and static sharing, you can also download your design as a static image file (JPG or PNG) or a PDF file for easy distribution.    You can also download as HTML5 version which would retain all interactivity of your live version and open locally in any browser without third party software or plugins.

Two other advantages of designing your infographics in Visme. First, you can keep your designs private, and only allow those that have the link to view your design. You can even password protect your design so only those with the link and the password can view your design. Second, you can see the analytics for your design in one place. This is a real challenge for tracking infographics online, and seeing the combined statistics of views and visits to your infographic is a fantastic feature. For everyone that shares your infographic on their own using the embed code, those viewer statistics are all gathered together in your Visme analytics dashboard.

Visme Analytics

 

Visme is free to everyone to try with many of the basic design tools. Paid plans start at just $6/month to unlock premium templates, along with the ability to manage privacy, download content, analytics and collaboration tools.

Special for readers of Cool Infographics, use the discount code VISME3 to get a lifetime 25% discount on any subscription.