Communicating data with Infographics

Infographics: Pictures That Tell A Story…

What is an Infographic?

The term Infographic is a portmanteau of two terms, “Information” and “Graphics,” and describes the visual representation of data. Infographics help communicate complex information in a digestible manner, as they creatively present data in an understandable and engaging format.

from www.DesignModo.comAs web users, with our diminishing attention spans, we’re inexorably drawn to these shiny, brightly colored messages with small, relevant, clearly-displayed nuggets of information. They’re straight to the point, usually factually interesting and often give you a wake-up call as to what those statistics really mean.  Here are some examples to fire up your i-graph engines…

Example: An Infographic that’s all about YOU

Intel’s “What About Me?”

Intel’s What About Me? is an automatic infographic generator that connects to your own Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts to create a profile infographic about you.

Social media users know that discovery is half the fun. With What about Me? you can capture a snapshot of your social media life and create your own colorful image, full of clues and facts about one of the most fascinating subjects in the world — YOU!

The chipmaker’s new “What About Me?” app culls info from your Facebook, Twitter and YouTube profiles to crank out a data visualization of your composite social media profile.

For instance, there’s a graphic that looks like a flower that tracks your interests based on what you tweet and write status updates about. There’s also a record of your most popular post ever and your most popular pic, your ratio of self-created updates vs. found information and “likes.”

More great Infographic examples

Free Online Tools For Creating Infographics

  • Hohli

    Hohli is an intuitive, simple online chart maker. It’s incredibly easy to pick your chart type, add some data, vary the sizes and colors and see the finished chart.

    information graphics


    Creately lets you design easy-to-make diagrams and flow charts. You can choose from a number of purpose-designed diagram types and quickly add your data to make your own chart. The end result looks very professional.

    information graphics

    New York Times

    New York Times’ Visualization Lab lets you use statistics from recent NYTimes articles to create visualizations in various formats. You can also see other people’s visualizations and see how other people choose to display the same data.

    data graphics

    Many Eyes

    Many Eyes lets you upload your own data or use data already stored on the site. The visualizations themselves are well-designed and very professional-looking. This is definitely the easiest way to use your own data for online visualizations.

    data graphics

    Google Public Data

    Google Public Data lets you easily take public data and transform it into an infographic of your choice. These beautiful, colorful graphics simplify and communicate the data perfectly.

    data graphics


    You may have seen my earlier post on Wordle, which lets you create word visualizations using text you enter. There are plenty of interesting designs to choose from. Enter whole books, short passages or see what other people have used. In this example, we can see the US constitution visualised.

    Free Software For Creating Infographics


    Tableau is a free Windows-only software for creating visualizations. As you can see, these impressive graphs are colorful and quite unique.

Great tutorials on infographic creation:

Learning styles

Looking for information on learning style inventories?

After years of facilitating learning styles workshops, I offer you the following perspectives/ideas:
 1. The Learning Styles Online inventory is good. The “Learning and techniques” section that they provide as feedback for the quiz results is solid, and the detailed combinations of style results are powerful.
2. The Hay Group has developed the robust “Kolb Learning Style Inventory,” based on David Kolb’s ground-breaking thinking, doing, experiencing, reflecting. The inventory and detailed individual and group feedback reports cost $15.00 per participant. This inventory is empirically validated and is widely used among corporate training groups. Check out the PowerPoint pdf they have on their information page.

3. A free quiz offered by AES does a very nice job of targeting participants’ learning styles and offering concrete action steps to help optimize learning.

4. VARK (Visual, Aural, Read/Write, Kinesthetic) is an often-used system that provides good feedback and tangible recommendations. A very detailed and more instructive feedback report is available for $28/participant. Whether you use VARK or not, the FAQ page ( on the vark-learn site has some useful answers to common questions your participants may be asking.

One suggestion, regardless of the inventory you choose…

Map out” participants’ results on a chart the whole class can see. People love to compare their own learning styles to that of their peers. This referential data provdes an answer to the eternal “how do I fit in to this human puzzle?” question. I have used PowerPoint slides to map out peoples scores as data points. You also can take a sheet of newsprint and draw a grid to map out scores using participants’ initials. It can be instructive for trainers to see any trends that a particular group might demonstrate.

I would be delighted to visit with you further about learning styles if you think it might be useful. Feel free to contact me at any time to discuss.

Take care, and happy learning!

Susan Hendrich 




Learning maps

How do you enable strategic organizational change?

More and more these days, I’m being asked to find ways of facilitating meaningful and successful change in organizations.  Invariably, leadership needs a strategy for bringing about desired change. And there are millions of strategies out there (just google “Change management strategy” and you’ll see). So, I try to keep a pulse on change management efforts that are working out there. Today I came across Root, a forward-thinking group making interesting use of learning maps.  Their concept is simple. Their process is fun. Their results are amazing.

What is a Learning Map?

The gist of these Learning Maps is that they use visual mapping to enable rapid communications within organizations about new strategy execution. These visual depictions of a new process or strategy tap into a collaborative process and help every employee to see beyond their own job functions to the bigger picture that is “where we are going.”  These learning maps engage their workforces by communicating an understanding about the industry and internal business.

Let me see this for myself

Take a “look” at ROOT’s Learning Maps and let me know what you think:

Susan Hendrich

Visual storytelling

Connect Using Visual Storytelling

It’s time for another golden e-Learning design tip! Today we’ll focus on visual storytelling. 

We’ve heard over and again that the power of visual imagery is unbeatable in instructional design. Yet, we struggle to find and use images that accurately capture and evoke the kind of emotion that connects audiences with the story we are trying to tell.  Perhaps you’ve seen the famed YouTube video series, “In Plain English,” where the CommonCraft geniuses show us (rather than tell us) the essence of Web 2.0 technologies. It is this kind of visual storytelling that captures our attention and ignites our imagination.

So, how can you show, rather than tell, your story?

Now, here’s your homework:

Take a look at Veronica Rusnak‘s Article on “Visual Storytelling and Moments in the Human Condition.”

“Remember: story, not data. Rather than talk about your topic, find a way to show it.”

Looking forward to your ideas!

Susan Hendrich