About
Randy Krum
President of InfoNewt.
Data Visualization and Infographic Design

Infographic Design

Infographics Design | Presentations
Consulting | Data Visualizations

DFW DataViz Meetup

Join the DFW Data Visualization and Infographics Meetup Group if you're in the Dallas/Fort Worth area!

Search the Cool Infographics site

Custom Search

Subscriptions:

 

Feedburner

The Cool Infographics® Gallery:

How to add the
Cool Infographics button to your:

Cool Infographics iOS icon

- iPhone
- iPad
- iPod Touch

 

Read on Flipboard for iPad and iPhone

Featured in the Tech & Science category

Flipboard icon

Twitter Feed
From the Bookstore

Caffeine Poster

The Caffeine Poster infographic

Wednesday
May182011

Microsoft Acquisitions Subway Map #infographic

Robin Richards (@ripetungi) recently updated his fantastically detailed subway map of Microsoft Acuisitions and Investments.  Although Robin is the Information Design Director at JESS3, this is one of his personal projects.

Infographic showing the acquisitions and investments of Microsoft, done as a tube map with each coloured line representing a different industry for each acquisition or investment.  Where the stations meet is where the two industries overlap.  The key at the bottom displays information about the location on the map of the station (company) the year of acquisition or investment.

 

This thing is big!  Poster-sized big.  I dropped the link into Zoom.it so it would be easier for you to zoom in closer and see the details.

 

Great job Robin!  I love this project.

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
May112011

Student Bullying infographic

Student Bullying
[Source: Buckfire and Buckfire.com]

From Buckfire & Buckfire in Michigan, comes an infographic about Student Bullying in the U.S.

Student bullying in schools in the United States is a serious issue and very prevalent in our school systems today. The statistics show that a student is bullied every seven minutes in our country and that most bullying occurs on playgrounds. The effects of bullying are profound and have a major psychological impact on the bullied student and often causes learning problems in the classroom.

The majority of states have bullying laws on the books, but most are not significant enough to impact this problem or reduce the amount of bullying that occurs nationwide. Without more stringent laws and the actual enforcement of those laws, school systems will not feel the pressure to take the affirmative measures necessary to eliminate the bullying problem that terrorizes so many innocent and vulnerable children everyday.

The lawyers at our law firm receive calls from concerned parents every week about their children who are being bullied in Michigan schools. We are actively pursuing lawsuits in several cases. We created the infographic below to display the facts and statistics about student bullying.

I really like the statistics shared in this one, although they should have visualized more of the numbers.  A value like 160,000 students miss school every day out of fear could be put into context if they had visualized it in comparison to total students or something like that.  

I really like the fact that since they get so many calls from parents, that they chose an infographic to reach out to their customers to share some of the facts.  This is a great example of using an infographic to provide valuable information to parents and teachers everywhere.  People will share it because it’s good content, and some may eventually become new customers.

Thanks to Kathryn for the link!

Tuesday
May102011

Sitting All Day is Killing You [infographic]

Sitting is Killing You
Via: Medical Billing And Coding

You might want to stand up for this…

From MedicalBillingandCoding.org comes a new infographic about the health risks of sitting all day: Sitting Is Killing You.  A fun look at how sitting down will shorten your life.

As we enter the second decade of the 21st century, there is one thing nearly all modern Americans have in common: we sit all the time. Though our great shift towards computer-based work has done great things for productivity, it has, unfortunately, done terrible things for our health. From increased risk of heart disease and obesity in the long term, to sharply hampered cholesterol maintenance in the short term, the negative health effects of sitting are starting to weigh heavily against the benefits. Even the medical field – the greatest advocates and reducing sitting time – is plagued by this new health issue. Though doctors and nurses get plenty of walking time, it usually falls to the secretaries, billers, and coders to do all the sitting. And, as we can see, something has to change.

I wish some of the data visualizations had been designed better, but the overall infographic tells a story to the reader, and gets the point across well.  I would remove the data legends and axis labels, and put the data right into the charts.

Great design elements of non-rectangular sections and illustrations that break boundaries.  Long list of data sources, but there should be a designer credit. 

Found on Mashable.

Monday
May092011

The Obama Energy Agenda: The White House attempts an #Infographic

 

On Friday, the White House (yes, that White House) released this infographic, The Obama Energy Agenda & Gas Prices.  This is one of the very few “official” infographic designs we’ve seen from the U.S. Government, so I think it deserves a little more critique than normal.  There are some things I like about this one, and some things I don’t.

The Good: 

  • The fact that this was released by the White House, is a really big positive.  I generally praise companies that experiment with infographics to get their messages out, and an official one like this from the government says big things about infographics continuing to grow in relevance in today’s society of information overload.  If you want your information to reach a bunch of people online (especially the younger crowd) then using an infographic is your best bet.
  • Nice layout telling a story.  The best infographics tell a story well, and the progression of topics top-to-bottom tell the story Obama’s team wants to share.  One topic leads into the next.
  • Bold colors.  The dark background stands out nicely in most online news and blog formats, even on the white background color of the White House Blog.  The color gradient matches the new, official White House logo with the blue gradient background you see at the top.  Makes the overall infographic feel very official.
  • Good use of illustrations.  Sometimes, visualizing a point is effectively done with an image or illustration so the reader immediately knows what you’re talking about.  The car with a power cord, the bus, the fuel gauge and the oil wells designed into the separator line near the top.
  • I like the color scheme too.  Some infographics go so crazy with clashing colors it’s hard to read, but the consistent light blue, yellow and white is easy on the eyes.
  • They included a social sharing button at the bottom of the blog posts.  They use a combined social button that expands to show many sharing services.  I generally find that less people actually use combined buttons, but they certainly save screen real estate and there’s a way to share online.  There’s no logo or company name included in this button either, so the White House isn’t endorsing a particular company.
  • I like the line chart.  They removed the y-axis labels and put the data right onto the chart, along with additional comments.  This makes the whole chart easier to understand.

 

The Bad: 

  • NO DATA SOURCES!  Where did the numbers come from?!?  You want readers to engage and debate your story, not challenge your facts.  Citing all of your data sources keeps the conversation on your story.  This design, without sources, almost invites readers to focus on challenging the facts instead of becoming engaged in the conversation about energy.
  • Way too much text!
  • The infographic above is the blog-size version.  The high-resolution version is tough to find because clicking on the image only takes you to the blog-size image.  Separately, in the text of the White House post, you have to click “Download Full Size” to view the higher-resolution version. (Click the image above to view high-resolution)
  • Text too small.  The font is so small in some places, it’s hard to read, and many people won’t find the text link to the high-resolution version.
  • Not many data visualizations.  Big numbers are not visualizations. and there are only three actual data visualizations (line chart, column chart and color filled factory illustrations).  There are so many more numbers included that should have been visualized to give them context!  
    • How does 35.5 mpg from 2012-2016 compare to the last four years?
    • “Over 2 billion barrels of American crude oil produced in 2010.”  Show the last 20 years to provide context.
    • “…would reduce oil consumption of about 750 million barrels through 2010.”  Is that a lot?  Making the text bold makes it feel important, but it doesn’t give the reader any frame of reference.
  • The stacked column chart could be much better.
    • They could have removed the Y-axis labels and the background lines
    • Legends are evil.  In the 2012 column, they could have identified the color-coding of the different sources of renewable energy instead of putting a separate legend under the chart.  Makes the reader work harder to look back-and-forth at a legend.
    • Why isn’t “Solar” the yellow color instead of “Geothermal”?  Yellow…like the sun.
  • The factory visual at the bottom is tough.  For any shape visualizations, it’s the AREA of the shape that conveys meaning, and I think the designer missed it here.  It looks like the green color height matches the data, but not the area of the factory shape.  Readers understand this intuitively, so to most readers the factory showing 2035 data will just look wrong, even if they don’t know why.
  • No designer credit.  Who designed it?
  • No single landing page.  The infographic is actually included in two different blog posts: The President on Jobs & Gas Prices: Read His Remarks, Download the Graphic on May 6th and Weekly Address: Clean Energy to Out-Innovate the Rest of the World on May 7th.
    • This makes tracking more difficult because they would have to look at links and views for both individual blog posts.
    • The infographic is actually the secondary topic to both blog posts, so it’s never truly highlighted as the focus of the blog post.  It’s just included in blog posts about energy topics.

 

Don’t get me wrong.  I LOVE that the White House staff is experimenting with infographics, and I hope they do many more in the future.  They just need some more practice. 

What do you think?

Thursday
May052011

The Reality Behind Social Location Apps #infographic

Digital services company Beyond compiled the results of their research into location-based apps, and designed this infographic summarizing the results; Check-In Data: The Reality Behind the Hype.  Released in conjuction with the Social-Loco conference in San Francisco, CA on May 5th.

As part of our involvement in the Social-Loco conference we have done some research to try to understand the difference between what people are saying online compared to the actions of early adopters and the views of the rest of the US population when it comes to their mobile check-in habits.

The results give us a clear understanding of who the winners and losers are likely to be, as well as the types of things that will motivate the mass consumer to adopt location-based apps. They also highlight some of the real challenges there are to consumers embracing this technology.

The data is very interesting.  Personally, I continue to use Foursquare, but find myself checking in less and less because I don’t get any direct benefits out of it.

From a design standpoint, I like the circle clusters, but I don’t like data separate in a legend on the side.  I appreciate that the color-coding remains the same, so Twitter is the same color in each visualization.  I would have included the logo images for the social location-based apps, and connected the data directly to the circles.  Data legends like this make your readers work harder to understand the information.

I also think that the most interesting learning from the study is the comparison between how people interact with national brands and small, local businesses.  However, this is the last visualization at the bottom, and gets lost.

Found on Mashable!

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!

Tuesday
May032011

Demand Media - Breaking the Bank

Demand Media - Breaking the Bank is a cool infographic published on OnlineMBA.com by designer Ricky Linn.

The content itself in interesting, and I remember reading the Wired article listed in the sources.  I like that the infographic combines the process flow of content creation, but also visualizes relevant statistics about how big and profitable Demand Media has become.  Overall it tells a good story.

Found on SiliconValleyWatcher.

Monday
May022011

The Real Cost of Dating

This is a pretty simple one, but I appreciate when companies are willing to experiment with infographics and even design their own.  The Real Cost of Dating is from Match.com and based on a survey they performed in March of 2011.  So here, the company is putting their own, proprietary data out on the web to inform readers and draw them into the match.com blog.

First, I like the talk bubble used as a pie chart.  It really helps reinforce the data as “Men say…”, “Women say…”.  Although I think the design is too subtle.  It took me a minute to even see that there were too colors in the bubbles.

Persoanlly, I think this design is very text-heavy, and much of the text is redundant.  For example, each statistic includes the text “…of women” when they are already in a section of the infographic of just statistics from women.

Overall, good first swing at using infographics in your marketing strategy, and I hope they do more.

Thanks to Colin for sending in the link!

Friday
Apr292011

Regular vs. Royal Wedding Costs

Adaptu brings us the Regular vs. Royal: The Cost of Getting Married infographic.

Roses or tulips? Open bar or cash bar? New gown or alter the one you found online? Do you have room to invite former Prime Minister Tony Blair? The only task more stressful than planning a wedding is financing it, and nothing tops a Royal ceremony.

Keeping the cost in perspective, we wanted to compare the average American wedding budget to the Royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Click on the infographic to learn what the typical couple spends on flowers and ponder what botanical masterpiece cost the Royals $800k.

I was inundated with submissions of royal wedding infographics, and sadly only a few of them were good.  I like the fresh design aspect of this one designed by the team at Periscopic.com (I just added them to the Cool Links page).  The increasing size of the trapezoids stacked into a triangle is interesting.  What I can’t tell by observation is if they did the area calculations correctly.

In a visual comparison of shape sizes used to compare numbers in a data visualization, the area of the shapes is what the reader sees as indicative of the value, and in this infographic, but the width and height of each trapezoid is adjusted to maintain the traingle shape and be true to the values represented.

I applaud the effort to try new shapes and experiment with a fresh way to visualize the comparison between values.

Thanks to Dino for sending in the link!