Three Case Studies of Infographic Success

by in Articles on 16th Sep 2011 · Comments

Have you noticed all the infographics around? It seems like there is a new infographic every hour these days. Everybody, including businesses, is using infographics to communicate.

Businesses are using infographics to connect with customers. Businesses are using infographics to describe certain situations that are causing pain or troubles for people. In the best cases these infographics present solutions and subtle brand messages or endorsements.

Three Case Studies of Infographic Success

The increase in infographic creation leads one to think the practice is leading to customer acquisition and positive branding for businesses. A successful infographic can be a great way for a business to communicate their unique position in the marketplace. An infographic is a great way to disseminate information easier to understand. When things get complicated it can be advantageous to simplify and make your valued message easy to understand.

As more businesses begin creating infographics they are going to require the skills necessary for their creation from their designers. That’s where you come in.

If you’re new to infographics or if you’re about to start creating an infographic, looking at these three successful examples would be beneficial.

We will take a close look at how each of these cases gained success from the planning to designing stages, right up to implementing and reaction stages.

Three Case Studies of Infographic Success

These cases each have different target audiences. The graphics are for consumption by specific groups of consumers with the intent of creating a positive brand message for the endorsing company. The ultimate goal is two-fold for the companies and the designers they contract for infographic design:

  1. Communicate the unique brand message
  2. Create awareness in the early stage of the sales funnel as consumers eventually work their way toward making a purchasing decision

These three infographics were successful in these two areas. Let’s take a closer look…

Crafting The Perfect Modern Resume

This graphic originally appeared on July 10th, 2011 on Mashable – a site for social media and technology enthusiasts.

Spruce Up A Boring Resume

Original Graphic: How to Spruce Up A Boring Resume

Along with being very visually appealing this infographic accomplishes a few key things. As a result of successful planning and execution this graphic has the credentials of a successful infographic.

Timely

The resume graphic is timely. With unemployment near 10% there are quite a few people looking for jobs. Even those that have jobs are always on the look out for something better.

In today’s world it’s imperative to have something that stands out in the pile of paper resumes. For this graphic, Colorado Technical University and their designers came up with a great concept for helping people create amazing resumes for today’s digital world.

The folks in charge of recruitment and branding at CTU obviously sat back in their seats in the big board room and thought about what their potential clients (students) needed. These days, students need to know they’re going to get value for their investment in education.

A degree at any education level is no longer a guarantee of a quality job upon graduation. The folks at CTU understand this growing concern and wanted to show their understanding by offering some additional knowledge to potential students.

The advice in the graphic is practical for those on the job hunt in 2011 and beyond. Being prepared for a digital resume is a big step for anyone looking to lock down a great job in today’s world and CTU made it easy for their target audience to take the next step in becoming appealing to employers.

Effective Design

The design of an infographic is obviously important. A few key points about the design in the modern digital resume graphic include:

Humans – The graphic has some cartoon humans in the design. These characters show the emotions of confusion, confidence, worry, and glee. It was a smart design decision to include a human element in this graphic. The topic is emotional. It can be extremely frustrating to constantly submit resumes to no avail. It can also be extremely exciting to get a call back for an interview at a dream job.

Modern Feel – The graphic for the modern resume should have a modern feel. I think the designer or design team that crafted this resume did a great job of having the graphic fit the tone of the topic. It’s an up-to-date design for the modern resume topic. It would have been easy to create something with out dated images of copy paper, cover letters, and the like. Instead a fresh approach was taken using logos, computers, and online video buttons.

Subtle Numbers – Infographics have information usually in the form of numbers and stats. What I actually like about this graphic is how they blended the numbers in with the rest of the content on the graphic. I think numbers can be overemphasized in infographics. In this example I think the numbers stand out well without overpowering the graphic.

Easy to Share

Sharing is an important aspect of infographics. One goal of creating infographics is to have people share the content with their friends and contacts.

The modern resume graphic had a built-in sharing network that made sense – LinkedIn. You can see the post was shared on that network over one thousand times. The graphic was also shared on various popular networks hundreds and thousands of times. That number should continue to grow as people look to offer help to their friends that may be struggling with creating a resume.

Think about the sharing aspect of your infographics. If you can make it easy for the people digesting the graphic to look good when they share the graphic you’ll have a huge leg up on the other graphics. Work in small quotes or bits of information that can be quoted on Twitter or other networks. If something unique stands out in the graphic it’s likely to be shared and shared and shared some more.

How Loading Time Affects Your Bottom Line

This graphic is one of the many great graphics from KISSmetrics – analytics and measurement solution firm.

How Loading Time Affects Your Bottom Line

Original Graphic: How Loading Time Affects Your Bottom Line

KISSmetrics seem to have an infographic make the rounds every week. I frequently receive links to their work in my Twitter feed, Facebook wall, and email inbox.

With their experience in information and analytics there is no doubt these guys are doing many things right. Here are just a few.

Target Everyone, Target No One

It’s an old saying that can be reworked to fit any situation.

For their infographic I thought KISSmetrics really focused on a specific audience. They focused on IT folks and even designers. Page load time is so important for user experience and seems to directly impact conversation and sales. A graphic speaking directly to IT and design folks is a great way to make it easy to understand the importance of page load time.

Really honing in and focusing on your target audience is important for the success of a graphic. Ask the marketing and research folks you’re working with to really explain their target audience. Even get so specific to ask for the name of the person they want to target. It really helps with the creation of the graphic.

Let the Numbers Speak

In some cases the design is simply there to give life to numbers. On this graphic I think the numbers are really powerful enough to stand on their own. 40% abandon a page when it takes longer than 3 seconds to load? That’s huge. Losing $2.5 million each year if page load time slows by just one second? That’s big.

Numbers can be enough to make a graphic great. I think in this example the designer did a great job of not getting too crazy with the design while letting the numbers take all the focus.

Consistency

Design consistency is important in all design. This graphic is a great example of how every aspect of the graphic relates to each other. Everything flows well and works together to make sense to those looking at it. Consistency is important. Don’t overlook it.

Tech Boom or Bubble 2011

Some people are wondering if there is a new tech bubble. The folks at FeeFighters with help once again from KISSmetrics created an infographic addressing concerns about a new tech bubble. The graphic appeared on the popular technology and business site – GigaOM.

Is It A Tech Boom or Bubble 2011

Original Graphic: Is It A Tech Boom or Bubble 2011?

KISSmetrics once again makes an appearance. Here they provided assistance to Fee Fighters along with GigaOM to create a really popular graphic from the summer of 2011.

As the concerns mount regarding the possibility of a new tech bubble it was great to see this graphic, but the companies got even more right with this graphic.

Emotional Colors

I’m not sure why, but the blue and greens on this graphic make sense to me. I’ve been wondering about a second Dot-com bubble for some time. As the post states, you can ask a thousand people about the situation and you’ll get numerous opinions.

With all the gloom and doom I think it was smart to use dark tones. When you first see the big words BOOM and BUBBLE back-dropped by dark blue you wonder what’s in store. The color pulls you in.

By the end of the graphic you realize things aren’t so bad and you can relax a little. But when you first start reading, the color really sets the mood for the graphic.

Great Charts

Charts and information work together well. Charts are easy to digest. Charts make it easy to comprehend how information relates to other information.

In this case the graphic does a great job of using linear charts to show the comparison of how the tech bubble of the late ‘90s compares to the current online situation.

Charts are simple, but adding in a few unique design aspects can be enough to make a graphic really stand out.

Scale

Designers often use objects to compare size and scope. Scale is so important when it comes to getting the impact right for an infographic. The tech bubble graphic used scaled circles to compare the biggest busts of the original bubble to current companies.

It’s powerful when a designer can successfully use scale to make an impact with information. It makes the information easy to comprehend and makes for something impressive and worth sharing.

Discussion

What are your thoughts about these three infographic case studies? Let’s discuss them and learn more. I'd love to hear from you.

Dayne Shuda is the founder of Ghost Blog Writers. He writes and manage blogs for businesses. He loves writing about music, business, and food, but has enjoyed writing about everything from design to motorcycles, and even women's fashion. Writing is fun and that's what he does at Ghost Blog Writers.