Thing 21: Infographics

Infographics are a fun and striking way to present information and have caught on in a big way1. I have been a fan of David McCandless' work for a while now - if you haven't already, you should check out his books Information Is Beautiful and Knowledge Is Beautiful.

Are infographics better than a traditional Excel/PowerPoint combo?

The answer is2, "it depends". They can be great for simplified summaries of information and data, or as an overview or basic introduction to ideas and concepts. But if what you are being asked for is an in-depth report on the performance of growth markets in the ninth quarter of the remuneration zone of the outer-percentile quadrohydrant, then infographics alone will not be enough. Because Too Much Information (TMI) is the scourge of infographics3 everywhere.

And as with all such tools, they can be done well and they can be done badly. They need to be clear, self-evident documents that people can look at later and understand exactly the story being told. Because like presentations, the story must come first. Which is why I struggled a bit creating my infographic (see below). I didn't really have a story to tell.

I used Piktochart (I preferred the look of their templates to Easel.ly's) to put it together. I had a vague idea of making an infographic about the effectiveness of infographics compared to traditional methods. As you can see below, I didn't take it all that seriously. It was quite fun to put together, but I did struggle with a couple of things:

  • If I'd had a clear(er) idea of what I was presenting, it would've been easier to plan.
  • The web app ran very slowly in my browser. Every time I clicked something, I'd get the spinning wheel of death and my browser would freeze for 20 seconds. That's 20 seconds every time I clicked, typed, dragged or changed anything in the graphic4. Annoying.

Other than that, it was great! I have considered using infographics at work to present library usage information to the Senior Management Team, but as I was brand new at the end of the last school year, I didn't really get the chance to put anything together. But now that I have the experience of putting this together, I feel ready to give it a proper bash this school year.

Thanks Rudaí23, you've done it again!


 

Asides

  1. Although this does mean that they do not have quite the WNF (WOW-Newness Factor) that they did a year or two ago.
  2. as always
  3. ...and PowerPoint, Prezi, SlideShare, emaze, Keynote, Slide, etc, presentations
  4. I have just tried it again now and it seems to be running fine. I think my computer was having a slow day, yesterday.

2 thoughts on “Thing 21: Infographics

  1. Hi

    Another excellent post! I like that you had a look at the tech options and picked the one that suited you best. The end result is very impressive looking. Hopefully you won't mind if I don't quote your figures any time soon? 🙂

    The Rudai23 Team

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