Rethinking Infographics – Data, Design, Delivery & Discretion
Infographics can play a major role in SEO, and when designed correctly, can prove to be an entertaining and engaging way to display sometimes complicated data. Join Pete Gall, Director of Brand & Content Strategy at KA+A, Kurtis Beavers, Senior Designer & Illustrator at KA+A, and Sharlene Boodram, Viral Media Coordinator at Slingshot SEO as they shares their experiences with producing and distributing successful infographic campaigns for clients.
What You Will Learn:
- How and when infographics should be used to visualize data and tell your story
- Best practices for design
- How to leverage social media in distributing your infographics
About the Presenters
Pete Gall, director of brand and content strategy at Kristian Andersen + Associates is a storyteller who excels at getting to the heart of a brand and then building durable symbols that help the brand communicate its inspiration to the world. Before joining KA+A full time in early 2011, Pete spent ten years as a freelance brand strategist and copywriter, working for seven of those years on dozens of projects for KA+A. During his freelance years, Pete published two books with an imprint of HarperCollins, and collaborated on three others. He also served on the board of the Harrison Center for the Arts, and is currently involved with several international ministry efforts, placing particular focus on Egypt, Haiti, Romania, Nigeria, and Guatemala.
Kurtis Beavers is responsible for producing strong workable design solutions across a range of media, both on and off-screen. He has a true passion for storytelling which comes through in his branding, motion and illustration work. Kurtis graduated with a degree in Computer Art from Indiana University where he won multiple awards and scholarships for his interactive classwork and infographic work for the student newspaper. After college, Kurtis honed his skills working as an art director in an advertising agency. Most recently Kurtis worked as an in-house designer and marketing director at the Indiana University School of Journalism while doing freelance design and illustration for multiple startups.
Sharlene Boodram is the Viral Media Coordinator at Slingshot SEO. Since 2010 she has innovated and lead the implementation of rich search media as a tactic towards achieving digital relevance for enterprise clients. Through market research and testing, she has evolved and fine-tuned the process from conceptualization to placement and promotion, resulting in heightened social engagement, direct traffic, and SEO value to brands. She has succeeded in getting infographics placed on major publications for clients such as Huffington Post, Business Insider and Mashable. She continues to work on maximizing placement and promotion efforts within an ever changing search media industry.
Tiffany: Alright. Hello and good morning. Thank you all for joining us
for Rethinking Infographics: Data, Design, Delivery and
Discretion. Today we have a Pete Gall, the Director of Brand and
Content Strategy with KA+A with us; Kurtis Beavers, the Senior
Designer and Illustrator who created the fancy slide you’re
about to see; and Sharlene Boodram, our Viral Media Coordinator,
I’ll hand it over to Sharlene here in a second, but if you would
like to join in the conversation and follow along on twitter,
you can do that by following #rethinkig. I’ll turn it over to
Sharlene: Thank you, Tiffany. Good morning, everyone. Thank you all for
joining in. First off, I want to say thanks to Pete and Kurtis
for all of your hard work and the time that you’ve dedicated in
preparing this webinar today, and agreeing to join me in this
discussion so that we can share some tips and tricks with the
Pete: Thank you for having us.
Kurtis: Yes. Thank you very much.
Sharlene: So, to get things started, we have been developing and
promoting infographics here at Slingshot SEO for close to two
years. We measure the success of our releases by social shares
and links achieved. Measuring the performance that the pieces,
of course, help us get a good handle on what’s working and
what’s not working. The links earned can be anywhere from one to
40 based on our releases to date, and the social shares for a
piece is anywhere from 500 to about 9,000.
That being said, I wanted to highlight two releases that
achieved results outside of the expected ranges, because this
definitely happens from time to time. The variants in the
performance just depend on the content, the placement, the
intended audience, and so forth.
We had one piece, it was done for an education client that we
put out on Mashable about nine months ago. To date, that’s
achieved about 669 links, which is outstanding, and social
shares around 8,000.
There was another piece that we did for a finance/accounting
company, only released kind of three months ago, so still pretty
young, pretty new. It was self-hosted, so that one was not
placed on a large third-party site. It’s achieved 24 links to
date, which is kind of in that expected range. But the social
shares on it is exactly the same as the Mashable piece at close
to 8,000. So there is quite a variance there in the results that
we have seen from the infographics released.
Three things to consider before you build infographics; so I
just wanted to touch on three different areas that we’re going
to speak to more in-depth in this webinar. But to give you an
overview, having identified metrics that measure the performance
of the infographic releases, the three main considerations for
producers of infographics are:
First of all the audience; know who you’re speaking to and
identify the conversations online that you intend on joining. Be
sure that you tailor the message within the infographic to the
identified conversations, while maintaining the intent of the
infographic. By intent I mean, is it to promote something? Is it
to contribute value add to a community? Is it purely for
entertainment, and so forth?
Then, planned placement and promotion strategy to be sure that
you’re delivering the message that you spent so much time
producing the right way, through the appropriate channels to the
right audience. I’m going to hand it over to Pete to talk about
Pete: Sure. What we talk about when we talk about audience, message,
and distribution has to do with, there’s a story worth sharing.
There’s a relationship worth building, and there’s a setting and
a context that you want to invite people onto a journey about.
When we talk about how we interact, there are kind of three
categories, and they should determine the appropriateness of
using an infographic versus some other form of communication.
The first metaphors to talk about is expression. If you’re
talking in marketing conversation, or if you’re talking about
this idea of relationship with your customers, you’re on a path
together. Expression happens before there’s a path. It’s about
A prime example of expression might be a poet who creates
something that you probably don’t get it, or modern art where
it’s about something one person is exploring and putting out.
That wouldn’t be a very good infographic topic yet, but it’s a
critical part of how businesses operation, is doing that
exploration, finding the thing that’s worth talking about.
There’s that searching element.
Once a path gets defined, the next type of way that we interact
has to do with communication. Here, as opposed to me being
focused on my saying what I need to say, communication is
focused on the audience and what bit of information does the
audience need to navigate along the path?
In terms of types of communication, here you might look at a
list. We see a lot of infographics now that are just lists that
are slapped onto a JPEG and called an infographic. That’s not
really an infographic. What it is, is it’s a communication that
helps me along the path. It’s a how-to. The path goes this way,
and you put guidance where a person needs guidance. The rest of
the interaction is simply conversation.
The next stage, and this is where infographics comes in, it’s
about rapport. What we mean here, and what this image is, is
this is a can at the top of a climb in the Andes. What people do
as they climb up these mountains, is they will pick up a rock
along the way, and then they contribute their rock to this pile.
The reason the pile exists is that there’s a point along this
path, along this conversation, where there’s a view worth
noting. An accomplishment has been achieved. There’s some vista.
There’s some important element to the data that’s worth
capturing and reflecting back.
You know that you have built a good infographic when people add
their rock to it. That’s the share. That’s somebody saying,
“Yeah. I will pause here. I will take note of this data, and I
will share it as well,” because this is a point along this path
of conversation that exists between customers and brand that is
worth taking note about.
From our perspective, and not everybody puts the same value grid
on when to create infographics is, as K+A does. For us, we’re
about that story and about that meaning and identity. There’s no
question that you can create a lousy infographic. If you put the
word “infographic” in your Tweet, you’re going to click it, but
it’s kind of making a promise that there’s going to be something
along the path that’s worth stopping for.
From our perspective, you build an infographic when there’s
value enough to stop and point attention to. You’ll note, here,
that this cairn is not a beautiful thing in and of itself. It’s
an invitation to contribute, but it’s really about pointing to
something beyond the cairn.
If we go to the next slide, we see an example where this is one
person’s expression ultimately. It’s a pile of rocks also, but
all it really is about, is about the artist, the person who
built this thing. We often see brands that will build
infographics or other expressions that are about themselves.
What they’re doing in that moment is they’re competing. They’re
saying, “Look, what’s really important here is us, not the path
we’re on or not the view beyond here.” This isn’t the kind of
pile of rocks that a team builds. This isn’t something you can
share or contribute to. This ultimately functions more like some
sort of idol.
The next slide, this is somebody building an infographic about
social media. What we see is, “So, all right. So, I’m going to
build the next new, cute thing.” But how many other people have
built an infographic right on that same space? The question
comes up, how valuable is that infographic? Is it necessary or
not? Is it just more noise?
What becomes fascinating here is just the fact that there’s so
much detritus. That’s really not helping a brand build their
base or their story either. When something doesn’t provide the
sort of value that people will gather around, that’s another
time where it’s probably not worth doing an infographic. If you
come across a field where you see this many cairns already in
existence, it’s probably not a good place to add yours.
Sharlene: Absolutely. I love your reference of, what’s the right message
for infographics? Is there a running stream, as I like to think
of it as, or a path, as you referenced it? Conversation that the
information that you have to offer would be a good addition.
Also, is it the right time? Is there already market saturation,
like in this last slide that you just spoke to.
That’s one of the key things we consider is, if you’re going to
say something, be sure that it’s something worth saying and that
there is an audience that cares about it, and is ready for the
Pete: It’s a display of respect for the audience and for the material
you’re willing to share. If it’s worth sharing, it’s worth
sharing well. If you’re just creating an interesting trinket,
what you do is you promise somebody that they’re going to
encounter something of value. You’re saying, “Here’s this cairn.
Here’s this thing that’s going to be this great view.”
If I click on it, and there’s this drum roll and the curtains,
and it’s just a tomato sitting on a stage, that’s a really
disappointing experience for you.
Pete: Or, as Kurtis has talked about the idea of a pile of rocks that
lead me to a hotdog stand, it’s just not a worthy destination.
Sharlene: Correct. I feel that it’s noteworthy to add that, perhaps
sometimes infographics as trinkets is not necessarily a bad
thing, as long as they are positioned, perhaps, on a company
site. Something pretty to enhance the user experience from
visitors to the site, whereby you’re not necessarily trying to
get into conversation, but it is used for show-and-tell or
something like that. By all means, that can absolutely be done.
Pete: Yeah, within a context. Yeah.
Sharlene: Correct. Correct. But infographics, in its traditional nature
being informational and useful and adding to a conversation,
absolutely these rules apply.
I wanted to mention just a few tools that we use internally for
identifying online conversations and trending topics – to be
sure that we are, as you put it, on the right path – that relate
to infographic development. These tools help us identify
information that people are most interested in. From a search
perspective, from an SEO perspective, what’s being searched for.
Kurrently.com is a good one that’s kind of my personal favorite.
Google Trends, BuzzTrends, and there are lots of varieties out
there that lots of internet professionals, social media gurus,
actually use. They basically provide social insight, so it’s
sort of an eavesdropping on Facebook and Twitter conversations
that helps you see what’s getting the most traction. What
questions people are throwing up online?
Then, AdWords and SEMRush, and tools like that, gives insight as
to the volume of people that are actually searching for
something. Of course, you’ll notice that different times of the
year, different seasons support peaks and different types of
traffic. So, “Father’s Day cards” for Father’s Day, or “what to
do in the summertime” in summertime, or “snowboard vacations” in
the wintertime and so forth.
Companies can also consider including proprietary information in
infographics, showing themselves as thought leadership.
Infographics are a great opportunity for doing that. People love
content that’s fresh and having the opportunity for a first-time
publication. Do you have a question, Kurtis?
Kurtis: Not really.
Sharlene: Something to add? If we move on to the next slide, once you
have decided what’s the best message that you intend on
publishing, knowing where you’re going to put it is very, very
Once the message is composed, the next steps involve placement.
Self-hosting an infographic – and by that I mean putting it on
the company’s or the brand’s website – and then hosting it on a
third-party site are both valuable, but there are some core
differences between the two.
If posted on a third-party site, social buzz or social signals
that you might achieve is not directed to the brand’s domain.
That is the company actually releasing the message. Still the
social signals around the message itself are an indication that
the message is being well-received, therefore, putting the
provider or the brand that’s releasing the content in a good
light, achieving positive sentiment.
One of the benefits of self-hosting the infographic is that you
achieve direct traffic, whereas if it’s hosted on a third-party
site, you’ll be getting referral traffic. Most times this means
you won’t get as much traffic initially if you self-host it, but
of course there are exceptions to the rule. In that, if you put
it on a site like Mashable, the size of the community is so
large and they’re so highly engaged that perhaps referral
traffic from that placement is probably going to beat out
placement on the company’s site themselves.
You kind of have to take each situation as its own unique, and
then determine what opportunities you have ahead of you. Then,
make the best decision. Third-party hosting from an SEO
perspective brings in second level links through the anchor text
link on the page. Those aren’t as strong as direct links,
although they do add link diversity, so that is a benefit.
Now, you can have the best of both worlds. We spoke about this
earlier this week as we were preparing the webinar, you can do
both. Why not host it on your own site, and then reach out to an
awesome third-party that has an audience that cares about the
message that you’re sharing? Then, do a double release.
Just, of course, one obvious consideration is going to be making
sure that we don’t have duplicate content. You can do that by
composing two really different articles that speak to different
points included in the infographic that’s tailored around the
audience that you’re hosting to.
Pete: That’s where an infographic can be really powerful. In the same
way that that cairn, you can approach it from different angles,
an infographic that communicates a worthwhile truth that is tied
to an ongoing story… Companies that understand their brand in
terms of story and inviting people into a story, will also
understand that those core expressions can be approached from
different angles, and they are beautiful to other companies.
Somebody else can approach it and say, “That bit of information
is really worthwhile from our angle.” So, when you’re looking
for that third-party site, it’s another reason that the
infographic has to be about something truly salient.
Pete: Otherwise, it’s just getting somebody to parrot your marketing
schmiel. That’s not worth nearly as much.
Pete: In thinking about how Slingshot works, and there are other
companies, like Compendium here in town. Their whole thing is
about telling stories, helping people tell their story. People
who think in those terms are really potent partners, because if
you’re thinking in story, you know how to invite people in in
So, when you’re talking about that third-party, it’s not just
replicating. It’s how do you harmonize with other brands.
Sharlene: Absolutely. It’s got to have contextual relevance. You speak on
branding, and we actually don’t have a slide in this deck that
focuses on that, but it’s definitely worth mentioning now that
you’ve brought it up.
So, people ask sometimes, and this is an ongoing conversation
amongst industry professionals, and it’s, “Do you brand the
infographic? Don’t you brand the infographic?” What are your
thoughts on that?
Pete: Would you put your logo on it?
Sharlene: Well, I don’t know. I mean, how do you define branding?
Pete: Is that what you mean by branding? Your brand is your identity
and the story that you live out. It’s your take on what’s
meaningful in life and what your contribution is to the life of
human beings that takes place in the marketplace. So, sometimes
it’s appropriate to share information that leads people back to
you because you’re worth [me capturing 00:17:21].
In that circumstance, that’s great. There are other times where
it makes even better sense to be altruistic because the thing
that you love is worth celebrating. If you share it and love it
in an open-handed way, other people come to love it as well.
When your logo is not on there, there’s less temptation to think
that your motives are impure.
But you want people to love the thing you love, and if people
love the thing you love, they’re more likely to find you. So,
even if your logo is not there, you can influence their
experience with the marketplace and find you better.
Sharlene: I completely agree, although I’ve seen just in trends, I make
it my business to look at all infographics that pass through my
Twitter feed. I go out and actively search for them just to see
what other people are doing, and I’m inspired by different types
of design, and different types of on-page setup. I find that
it’s become more commonplace for companies’ logos to actually
always be on the infographic.
I feel like because of this change, or slight shift, that the
end users, or those actually enjoying the information, are less
unsettled by a logo on the piece. I think that they just expect
that there will be one, because somebody provided the
information. I mean, if an author writes an article, don’t they
have, after the title, “authored by” so and so.
So, it’s the same interpretation. Before, I would say, “Well,
let’s think about the piece and where we’re putting it to make
that decision. Now, I’m like, “Yeah. We can definitely put the
logo on there, as long as it’s small and it’s subtle, and people
clearly know who’s providing the information. But the heart of
the matter is going to be the actual content that’s included in
the story, which is what we just discussed.
Kurtis: In certain cases, a logo is much better than a small line of
type that has the company name, because it provides a level of
transparency, that “Yes. We did produce this.”
Pete: Yeah. Nobody likes to feel hunted.
Pete: If the use of your marketing message, on there, makes somebody
feel hunted, as opposed to edified, that’s not going to work for
you in the same way.
Sharlene: Right. We’re going to move on to on-page setup. We spoke about
preparing the right message, identifying the audience, what’s
the best place to host the infographic, should it be branded or
not branded? Once you have aligned all the dots, the last bit of
it is making your content search ready. That’s something that we
take very seriously here.
Here are some tips: Having identified the best place for the
graphic in helping it become search ready, social share buttons
on the page are an absolute must. Of course, depending on the
type of message within your infographic, you may want to include
some share buttons that you wouldn’t usually.
As an example, the newcomer in the game, or not so newcomer, the
one that now has all the attention is the Pinterest button. But
depending on the message, I may or may not recommend a Pinterest
button. It’s better to have it than not to have it, but by the
same token you want to be sure there’s not share button
craziness clutter on the page. Were you going to say something?
Kurtis: What type of audience would you include Pinterest for?
Sharlene: So, Pinterest, I guess initially was perceived to be sort of
the arts and crafts, “mommy bloggers”, and so forth, but then
recent time, I am a maybe eight to nine month year old user of
Pinterest myself. The best way to learn the networks is to throw
yourself in there and converse with that community.
Now I find that there is a heavy tech, and that geek-tech
influence, whereby it’s off-the-wall art and web development,
humor, and craziness. There’s quite a variety, lots of travel.
Pinterest is awesome for that travel community, families taking
vacations, or what have you.
There are a lot more opportunities for different types of
interests to be shared on Pinterest. That totally rhymed. I
didn’t mean for it to. I hope that answers your question.
So, making sure that the social buttons are on a good place on
the landing page is really important. We recommend just above
the main title above the image, so that viewers that are about
to read your awesome content is already aware subconsciously,
“Hey, if I like this and I feel like reposting it, that totally
is an option for me.”
Also we like to recommend including the counter on the buttons.
You can present the buttons lots of different ways, but I feel
like allowing the piece to carry its popularity, and showcasing
the impression of your message my end users is only going to
work to your benefit.
For me, if I see a piece that got 100 Tweets, or 100 Facebook
likes, or I don’t know, 35,000 Stumbles, I’m going to click on
it to see what all the fuss was about. What is so awesome about
this piece? Like you said, I might here drum rolls and curtains
opening because I’m expecting to be wowed, and to be heavily
informed by an infographic that carries a lot of social clout.
Pete: If the thing is good and the number is still small, then you
get the bonus of being the one who discovers it.
Sharlene: There you go, and people like that.
Pete: So, a solid number makes sense, even small or large.
Sharlene: Absolutely. The next important consideration on the page is the
anchor text link, and that’s generally placed within the short
paragraph that precedes the graphic. This gives the post
contextual relevance by the inclusion of co-occurrence terms,
and the link should point to the page that you are trying to
The alt image tag, or image description, describes what the
image is about, which is important for both search engines and
enhancing user experience. Finally, the embed code, that
increases the sharing potential of the post, allowing people to
embed the image on their own site. You also have the ability to
include a branded link in the embed code if you so desire, and
that adds value by allowing people to recognize who the provider
of that message is, regardless of where it’s shared or reposted.
There’s one more thing that’s really important in the landing
page setup, and that is including proper meta description.
That’s pulled by social networks. So, if I go on Facebook or
Google Plus, then I hit “share” on a post. I’ve struggled with
this, trying to share a post that perhaps I didn’t have a hand
in building. Just pieces that I loved and I thought they were
awesome. I wanted to put it up on my wall.
When I hit the share button, perhaps the meta description wasn’t
there, or it wasn’t exactly tailored to the message of the
graphic, or there wasn’t a neat thumbnail-sized image to
accompany the post. So, when I hit “share”, it just looked kind
of weird and it was difficult for sharing.
Moving forward, we’ve recommended to people that we’ve worked
with. It’s just a best practice to make sure that the meta
description information is correct, short and sweet, and to the
point. A few lines that’s provocatively explaining what your
awesome message is about. Why people should read it, and a
thumbnail image that goes along with it so that when it is
shared on Google Plus, Facebook, or what have you, it is a
beautiful post that’s going to entice people to read it and
perhaps share it some more.
Pete, do you want to talk about resqueezing the orange?
Pete: Well, we just talked about this in terms of how long does an
infographic produce results, and at what point do you bring it
back to life and relaunch it? In the same way that a song can
suffer radio death if it’s overplayed, if you push an
infographic or any bit of information too long, there’s backlash
that comes even if it’s really good.
I think what we talked about, for me, the actresses that have
always been most compelling growing up were the ones that I
discovered. They were the girl next door types, who I liked to
discover the thing. So, the infographic is stuff that I want to
discover and share. If somebody else is pushing it, especially
the company that has launched it into the world, then I feel
like I’m a shield for them. As opposed to, “Boy, this was really
I don’t know if you’ve seen – Coca Cola did a long video
animation about their marketing plan?
Sharlene: Oh, yeah.
Pete: I don’t remember who sent it to me. It might have been somebody
from Slingshot actually. I’m not shelling for Coke. I just
thought that was really neat. I shared it with other people
because it had value on its own. If they were the ones pushing
it, I would have resisted immediately.
So, when we had talked about, what have you seen in terms of
when does an infographic mature? How long does it take? Then,
how do you resqueeze it? That’s my thought. I just think that’s
fascinating what you guys are doing, that, if the story is
compelling and true, then it will be compelling and true later,
Sharlene: Absolutely. We have rereleased our pieces quite a bit. So, as
long as the message is still relevant, and of course we try to
make sure that most of the graphics are evergreen. It’s all
right, also, to update a graphic by adding a more recent step or
something if 80% of it is still valid.
Of course, infographics have peak times. Sometimes they’re
seasonal. So, rereleasing in peak times, peak months is never a
bad idea. Perhaps, like you said, you will enjoy discovery by an
audience that may have missed it the first time around. It’s
kind of like multiple concepts, like being on tour with a new
record, so that every new territory gets a discovery
Of course, thinking about the message, the placement
opportunities perhaps that you’ve not yet capitalized before.
Like we’ve said before, the timing would be the three
considerations in determining if you should, as you put it,
resqueeze the orange.
Pete: I would assume that traffic is recycling rapidly enough that, I
can think of all sorts of topics that six months ago wouldn’t
have appealed to me. I would assume that you can squeeze the
orange in the same exact platform again. That if I’m still a
visitor to that site six months later, now it might catch my
eye. Is that…
Sharlene: Absolutely. Absolutely, like you said, as long as you don’t
overkill things. A little bit of breathing room is a good idea,
but within the next six months if you wanted to give it another
boost, a promotional boost, then by all means, that’s
recommended. But you definitely can use different platforms if
that’s your preference, or you can give it a second go-round on
the same platforms that you’ve tried before.
We have been tracking the performance of infographics pretty
much monthly. Every four to five weeks I will revisit releases
and take a look at how they’ve aged. Infographics for the most
part continue to grow for up to six months after its initial
I do have pieces, like that Mashable piece that I spoke about at
the beginning, that continue to grow still. We’re at the nine-
month mark on that one. I have another one that I’ll mention
that was released. Actually, it was probably one of my very
first projects. Back before there were so many infographics in
the market. It continues to rise steadily.
I mean, we have maybe 35,000 Stumbles or something crazy on that
piece. So, there’s definitely growth potential. We have seen a
slow and steady rise in social shares, links, and views, page
views, over time. An infographic may live for as long as the
content is relevant. Like we just said, resqueezing the orange
when appropriate definitely adds life to the infographic.
Tracking the performance of the infographics regularly is
important in identifying the value of each release, and learning
what works and what doesn’t work. I am encouraged to continue. I
recommend to everyone, find the time, a couple hours a week if
Do some research. Just check out some infographics if that’s
what you like, if that’s what you enjoy. Really try to
understand better the [inaudible 00:30:10], different types of
tricks from a design perspective, things that people are doing
differently as it relates to placement and promotion.
Do some reverse engineering, and figure out what’s going on.
Try, try, try. I mean, you’re never going to figure out what’s
best for your brand and for you unless you try different
options, because no two pieces are alike. Every infographic,
it’s like its own thing. It’s kind of like a song on the radio.
You just never know what’s going to be in the top ten and what’s
not. The only way you can know is by trying, and then perhaps
figuring out trends and tracking, by tracking your results.
Kurtis: Have you ever come across an infographic that you were shocked
by the results.
Sharlene: Shocked in a good way or a bad way.
Kurtis: Either way?
Sharlene: Either way? There was an interactive piece that I discovered
maybe a month ago. I’m not sure if that’s exactly right, so
don’t quote me on that. But I think about a month ago. It was an
interactive graphic, which I’ve dabbled in myself. Really well-
done and beautiful.
The way that they portrayed information by state for the United
States was not in a map, first of all, which was kudos to them.
Because anything that you see that’s state related, generally if
it’s interactive, it’s thrown up on a map of the United States,
right? So, this was really neat in that they used bar graphs and
so on to represent the data. You can resort and regroup the
states and what not. What caught my eye the most was the layout
of the graphic.
There was none of the things that I just recommended to you on
this page, yet still, their social traction was through the
roof. I mean it was like, I’m like, “Did they put those buttons
on that page? Is that a working button?” It amazed me and blew
my mind. But I think one of the benefits of that…
Again, you just need to figure out what’s the best approach per
your message and knowing what measurables you’re hoping to
achieve. That without all this stuff on the page, back to the
branding thing, this was just a pure, neat graphic that anybody
could take and embed in any context for their own purposes. It
could have been on an industry site. It just could have been on
a graphic designer’s site, who dug in because it was really well-
done. It had a lot more multipurpose capability is what I’m
In addition, it just broke the norm. It was one of the first
pieces, I guess that I’ve discovered, whereby it spoke to lots
of data by state, but it did not include the map of the United
States, which was really brilliant in its simplicity. So, I was
really impressed by that piece.
Pete: That’s the design showing up and being critical. We
intentionally didn’t want to give examples of good or bad
infographics in this conversation because that’s all about
delivery, and not so much the sentiment behind it. But there’s
no question that really strong design influences the way a
person interacts with data, and that it’s more the native
Kurtis: If it’s designed well, then it sort of pours in. The visual
language is the first language that we learn, and so it’s our
easiest language. By taking information and designing it well,
you can cut through all of the clutter that’s online. It’s like
a clearing in the forest.