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Week 5 Course Advisory – Information Design

February 6, 2012

V5 due Monday, February 6, Cartoon. 5%

V6 Critique an Info-Graphic & Design Your Own Info-Graphic 10%

We begin to ramp up the thinking and doing with V6. From here on out, the tasks consist of two parts: critique an available example, then design one for yourself. It’s useful to see how others have designed the following before you try your own.

V6 = Information graphic, V7 = Professional online presence, V8 = PPT presentation, V9 = Prezi presentation, V10/V11 = TED talk

So far I’ve been trying to raise your visual awareness: using visuals to learn about others and yourself (desktop), power of visuals (collection), how “visuals” don’t have to be pictures but how we see humans/animals communicate without talking (nonverbal), and how cartoons might be the most persuasive, informative, or insightful types of visuals. All of these can be used to entertain, educate, and communicate.

V6 Information Graphics

I had not made an infographic myself, so I decided to make one using your work histories and see how the procedure below worked for me. That’s what my video clip is about: How I Made My First Infographic.

1. Check out this site first: The 7 1⁄2 Steps to Successful Infographics by Sarah Slobin. THIS SITE, UNFORTUNATELY, WAS NOT AVAILABLE WHEN I POSTED THIS ADVISORY, BUT IT MIGHT RETURN. I pull the important points in my video clip, below.

2. Then view my attempt (20.17) to implement the procedure. My video clip for this week. In the video I mentioned that the Infographic was V5, but it’s really V6.

3. On your blog post a critique of an existing infographic. There’s a site on the video clip where you find examples. Critique the infographic in terms of the 4 items mentioned in the Visual Activity Guidelines (a – d). You might do this before you try to develop your own. Learn from others.

4. More examples.

5. After looking at examples and critiquing one, you try it. On your blog post your infographic. Write about it: a, b, c in the Guidelines.

Another site that might work for you is Anatomy of an Infographic: 5 Steps.

You can post the critique and the infographic at different times. This would be helpful for others looking at your example and critique.

19 Comments leave one →
  1. February 6, 2012 9:38 am

    My children have been taught the food pyramid, of course, since they started school. When Michelle Obama endorsed “the plate” recently, my children were very disturbed that she was trying to change what they perceived as the correct visual.

  2. February 6, 2012 4:49 pm

    Hee hee! So sorry my life story has caused you infographic headaches! Had I realized you wanted volunteer and educational info as well, it would have looked a LOT hairier! =D I just also wanted to clarify the glorious job of dormitory bouncer. I went to Alderson-Broaddus College. The ladies freshman dorm, lovingly nicknamed “The Virgin Tower” had a curfew for male visitors of 10 p.m. My job was to sit at the front desk, make the guys sign in, and take their ID. At 10 p.m. I would go around with the list and bounce the tardy guys out of their girlfriends rooms….often in quite embarrassing situations. Oh well. That beats the newspaper job where I had to airbrush nipples out of the gentlemen’s club ads. Neal, I think you’re right….I HAVE led an interesting life! =D

    • February 6, 2012 4:54 pm

      I’m all of us like the “Dorm Bouncer” period in your life. Character-building, I am sure. If I had asked for more, might have taken me a lot longer to produce an info graphic. I just wanted to experience what I’m asking you to do.

  3. Lori Ogden permalink
    February 7, 2012 9:39 am

    Thanks for showing us how you went about making your infographic. It really helps to see how you thought about this process.

  4. February 7, 2012 11:06 am

    Will you be able to repost the rubric for critiquing other infographics on this blog? Or will you recap 4 points that we look for to critique? Thanks

    • February 7, 2012 5:21 pm

      i could, but the 4 items can be found on the Visual Activity Guidelines

  5. February 7, 2012 7:59 pm

    I like what you came up with for this, Neal. Cool way to make the project relevant to all of us. This seemed to flesh out the way so many things seem to for me. There is a task at hand, and taking all the data and seeing what will emerge as a direction that makes sense leads the way. Iterations, reflections, and revisions… it is the polishing cycle that leads to something shiny, of which we can be proud.

  6. Tracey Beckley permalink
    February 7, 2012 9:23 pm

    I’m a creative data girl. I love charts and graphs, and I especially appreciated the article on the 7 1/2 steps. I have two related pet peeves- using the wrong tool for the job and creating a picture that doesn’t really have a clear point. Why do people use Word for something that really belongs in Excel? Likewise, why do people create databases in Excel when they belong in Access? It’s so important to be clear about our message (idea) from the beginning. Excel can make all kinds of pretty pictures that might not have any relevance or even make any sense to the viewer. I taught an intro MS Office class several years ago at the community college level, and it was surprising how many times students couldn’t EXPLAIN the graphic they had created.

    • February 8, 2012 6:53 am

      My undergraduate degree is in Management Science and one of the competencies was databases. Excel is routinely misused as a database.IF Microsoft had included a database in their Office package, people would be more literate in databases. Databases, in my opinion, are underused.

      The other main idea that you/Tracey is talking about is being CLEAR about your audience. When you do a PPT, Prezi, TED talk, knowing who your audience is and what your message is will be crucial. I’ll be discussing a “media treatment” tool pretty soon to help you organize your ideas for ANY media.

    • February 8, 2012 6:56 am

      Creative Data Girl (you should march over to Julie and tell her this). Sounds like a visual character for some media thing down the road. CDG

    • February 8, 2012 1:33 pm

      I always considered myself the CREATIVITY QUEEN! =D

  7. February 8, 2012 9:03 am

    Looking forward to this assignment! Most challenging so far. The video was really helpful. The career timelines reminded me of the edit window with sound and video software, and I could imagine a time bar scrolling across. I wonder if your experience with those influenced your decision to layout that way?

    Been having fun viewing the many infographics out there. Here is a nice collection:

    And another for those in the superior minority:

  8. February 9, 2012 9:31 am

    I’ve been enjoying the video lecture/demonstration part of this course. It’s helpful to hear what you were thinking while watching the process. I also enjoy the light-hearted approach – these types of videos have the potential to be really dry and dull – glad these are not!

    I noticed that your approach to seeing segments of time & career type was similar to the edit window of audio & video edit windows. Do you think your time with those has influenced the way you see time segments?

    Here is another interesting info-graphic site:

    and another with less graphic, but interesting info:

  9. February 10, 2012 2:24 pm

    I’m enjoying the video lecture/demonstration clips that you have up. This format has the potential to be very dry and boring, and I’m glad this is not. I thought it was interesting the way you arranged the segments of time. Reminds me of a editing window on an audio/video program. I wonder if your time with those types of programs has influenced your visual understanding of time events?

    Found a cool infographic site, and will critique one of these for V-6. I like how the work is informative, but also arranged and composed with attention to an aesthetic.

  10. February 11, 2012 4:38 pm

    THis is attempt #4 to post a comment. trying to see what the problem is. if this makes it to the blog, send your ideas. Really though, if this makes it to the blog, then there’s no real problem. okay, here goes!

    Dr. Neal, feel free to take this down after a day — it’s just a test

    • February 12, 2012 8:27 am

      Jeff, your post showed up. Who knows why? Did you make some change?

  11. February 12, 2012 11:16 am

    Alrighty then! So, what I to say was that I’ve been enjoying the lecture/demonstration videos. This format has the potential of being very dry and boring, I’m glad these aren’t. Too often with work like this, the narrator is too close to the mic and speaking quietly, or too far and shouting. Also, the visual element tends to be only the work being done on the screen. Your experience in broadcasting definitely helps these clips keep interest and stay alive. As I think about the TED talk, and other A/V work, I am watching videos not just for content, but also for arrangement, pace, sequence, and A/V quality.

    In the latest, your layout of career segments over time reminds me of an edit window in A/V editing software (with a rolling scrollbar). I wonder if you experiences with those programs influenced how you see and present that type of data?

    • February 13, 2012 7:53 pm

      Jeff, I do plan these videos, but I only have so much time to knock them out. I try to keep them short and introduce some production features to them – increase interest. Sometimes things come to me as I produce them, a habit I developed being a radio announcer where the best stuff came from last-minute decisions about what I should be doing for the audience at any given moment.

  12. February 13, 2012 7:04 am

    There’s a lot to think about with AV work. I don’t consciously think about that as I’ve internalized a lot of that thinking. The treatment document I mentioned to you in person I’ll be discussing in prep for PPT/Prezi/TED as one tool I use to be clear about any media message.

    I don’t think that the software edit windows had a bearing on my visual format. But, yes, now that you mention it, the individual work histories as visualized look very much like audio waveforms and/or video timelines. I think the notion that work histories required a timeline for depiction was the major decision.

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