I need support with this English question so I can learn better.

Infographic That Tells a Story

This project is worth 75 points, which constitutes about 15% of your grade.

Infographics are an emerging trend in the data glut environment in which we live and work. Becoming more aware of how and why such visuals work will help you become more critical evaluators of the information you include in reports and business/technical documents.

As Hal Varian, Google’s Chief Economist points out:

The ability to take data—to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, to communicate it—that’s going to be a hugely important skill in the next decades, … So the complimentary scarce factor is the ability to understand that data and extract value from it. (McKinsey Quarterly, Jan 2009)

Infographics combine principles of typography, color theory, Gestalt and/or CRAP design theory, and may include other types of graphics (charts and graphs) to convey complex information clearly and concisely to a non-technical audience.

In this project, your group (2/3 students) will build important data visualization skills as you:

Requirements: Infographic, memo report, and presentation

The required elements for each component of the assignment are as follows:

Audience

Infographic

Non-technical audience of your choice

Memo report

The instructor is your audience for the memo report

Format

Infographic

Course materials for this assignment will help you to choose the layout and design of your infographic

Presentation

Your group of 2/3 students will present your infographic to the class, discuss your decision decisions, your audience, and the why and how (see memo requirements) of your decisions.

Report

Follow standard conventions for writing memos, including the guidelines given earlier in the semester.

Size/length

All

Size of the infographic will vary.

For the memo report, most students need about 2-3 pages (single-spaced text with one line of extra space between paragraphs.)

Process

Step

What needs to be done

1

Create an Infographic that Visualizes Data. To identify the data subject of your infographic, consider the advice of Nathan Pearlman, a data visualization expert:

“Work with data and stories that have potential to impact public policy or to educate people about things they care about. In my view, this can be done by presenting information in a new way or pulling many threads together into a new tapestry.”

Your story should be substantive, aimed visualizing data. The data you visualize should help viewers understand the complexity of a problem, issue, etc. You should not craft an infographic based on a trivial subject.

2

Find Accurate Data. Work with data connected to your field(s) of study. You are required to work with statistical data that is accurate and substantive (not trivial statistics such as types of snacks consumed during the Super Bowl).

One way to find substantive data sets is to do a search using the terms “data visualization contest.” These contests provide data and often have a specific focus. You might try also searching for contests based on terms related to your field of study. Another great place to find data sets is to look at academic/scholarly articles from your field.

Remember, the infographics that successfully tell a story come from more than ONE data set. They synthesize data from a variety of sources.

3

Explore the Data. You may have a story in mind that you want to tell. If not, you may want to explore data to extract a story. Look for patterns or trends, differences, similarities, cause/effect relationships etc.

Another way to explore the data is to interrogate it by asking questions. For example, if you were working on an infographic about climate change, you might ask a data set covering the numbers of tornadoes by year, “how many tornadoes occurred in 2013 compared to other years.”

4

Identify Audience and Stakeholders. Once you have an idea for the story you want to tell, you will want to identify the non-technical audience for your infographic and analyze their level of interest in the topic. You may be telling a story that would be of interest to many people or the story may be of interest to a narrower group. Gauging that level of interest includes identifying what is at stake in the visual you present to this audience.

A “stakeholder” is anyone who has a specific interest in an outcome. The handout on stasis theory will be helpful when creating an infographic on controversial subject matter to stakeholder audiences with competing interests. Before advocating anything, it’s important that such audiences understand their differences and areas of agreement, so you might decide to simply create an infograhic that helps competing interests understand each other.

5

Create Your Infographic. As the blog Visual News points out, the best infographics are created when a story comes first. In a completed piece, every data point, piece of copy, and design element should support the story. Keep the following goals in mind when designing your infographic.

  • Engage the reader with an interesting Title and Subtitles
  • Provide context for the data
  • Guide the reader through the graphic in a logical glow
  • Highlight notable findings/insights in the information
  • Provide a Sound Conclusion
  • Tip: Sketch the infographic elements on a plain piece of paper (or other means) before trying to actually create it.

6

Cite all sources used. An endnote citation is the least intrusive way to cite sources.

When creating your infographic, apply what you will learn in this section of the course about the principles of effective design (such as use of Gestalt theory, typography, color, and layout).

You do not have to be a design ace at using visual software such as PhotoShop to create your infographic. With some adjustment to the margins, you can use a Word document file and Word Shapes etc. to create an infographic.

You can also use the following websites (which have many free layouts already created) for FREE:

  • Piktochart.com
  • Canva.com
Writing the Memo Report

Use the standard conventions for formatting a memo, and use headings to help the reader navigate and revisit information in your memo. Include page numbers for all secondary pages.

Outline for Memo Report Content

The content of your memo should include the following.*

Introduction

Audience: State the specific non-technical audience for your infographic and explain why they would be interested and/or need the infographic. If your infographic is a visual argument aimed at a high level of persuasion, include what is at stake for the audience(s) who will receive it.

Data sets: Explain the data set(s) you used, and how you arrived at the story for your infographic.

Story: Explain the story of your infographic and justify your design choices in the following areas: typography, use of color, layout, CRAP design and/or principles of Gestalt design

Your justification needs to do more than simply point out what you did. You will need to explain in order to demonstrate your understanding of these concepts. Your instructor will also be looking for you to explain how your design decisions effectively facilitated the specific story you were trying to tell.

Tools: Explain the choice of tool(s) for creating the infographic. If you used a doc file, for example, explain how you used features in Word to create your infographic.

Limits (optional). If what you intended to create did not quite turn out the way you planned, explain what you wanted to do and why the outcome is not to your satisfaction.

*Following the introduction, you may organize the subsections in a difference sequence than presented on this list. Use the organization pattern that works best for your discussion.


Resources

Readings

Videos

Infographic Tools