Posts Tagged ‘professional development’

UK’s Daily Mirror Blogs Infographics

December 27, 2013 Leave a comment

Ampp3d — launched in November — makes “journalism more accessible through data visualisations.”

The Ampp3d  blog  focuses on the Daily Mirror’s “charts, graphs, facts, figures and … infographics” by collecting and presenting in one place the data visualizations published in the Mirror. Ammp3d demonstrates that infographics do not need to be elaborate to add impact to a story and satisfy readers. It is one of many examples of journalists using graphics to appeal to younger audiences (and help with the ever-important subscriber figures).

Mirror-Tax graph

Here’s everything you need to know about Beyoncé, in numbers.


Designers Outraged at US Gov Spys

PRISM PowerPoints Not So Hot

The revelation that the U.S. Government is spying on the Internet outraged pundits, politicians and rights advocates. After the Washington Post published the slides the design community was outraged too. I think the information content of the slides is actually not so terrible. The problem is the hideously ugly artwork. The design skills of whoever created these slides is appallingly low. Poor presentation detracts from the message so much that it slows comprehension. This is a great illustration of why design skill is an important part of effective communication.


Dreadful spy-PRISM deck sets new record for most header logos — Edward Tufte





A Tale of Two Illustrations

October 28, 2011 1 comment

If you don’t have a map, all roads look the same.

This blog strives to make BNA’s writers and editors more knowledgeable about the use graphics. Recently we published an insightful analysis about the Federal budget: “Do-Nothing’ Option Would Cut Deficit Fastest.” We got hung up on deciding between two illustrations to accompany the story.

Budget Data Presented as Table

Budget Data Presented as Graphs

A great map to guide us is Stephen Few’s book “Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten.” Few provides us with a succinct guide to making our decision (p. 239)…

When to Use Tables vs. Graphs

Use Tables When
  1. The document will be used to look up individual values.
  2. The document will be used to compare individual values.
  3. Precise values are required.
Use Graphs When
  1. The message is contained in the shape of the values.
  2. The document will be used to reveal relationships among multiple values.

So the answer is to be found in our story. To select between the two illustrations we should look for guidance in what our story is aiming to accomplish. The author sets out the goal at the top of the story…

compare the extent and speed of deficit reduction among the major proposals…

Presenting this data as a table provides our subscribers with little help in seeing the key points of the analysis. A table is just a bunch of numbers, leaving the reader to figure out the relationships on their own. The analysis was about the shape of the values and the relationship among them, a goal that is best accomplished through graphs.

  • The stair steps created by the large bars quickly communicated that the options were arranged from smallest to largest.
  • The pie wedges quickly communicated the absolute size of the deficit relative to GNP.
  • The tilt of the slope graphs quickly communicated the rate of change.
  • The vertical position of the slope graphs quickly communicated the percentage relative to GNP.

Dataset to Infographic: The Thought Process

InteractiveThings (Zurich) data visualization studio describes the process of developing an infographic about Natinal Geographic’s Spelling Bee.

Step 1 analyzed the data to get a feel for the content to build up the story they wanted to tell. They decided to focus on three aspects: geography, rank, and time. The final infographic created a visual landscape which allowed the user to focus on the different aspects.

Improving BNA’s Graphics: Editor’s Professional Development Needs

June 27, 2011 1 comment

A slideshow

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Showing Not Telling

The purpose of this blog is to inspire visual thinking among BNA staff.

My goal is to contribute to recent efforts to enhance BNA’s visual presence and assist BNA staff in keeping up with changes in our industry. This blog presents examples of how information is displayed visually by BNA and by other publishers. My desire is to inform and assist editors and reporters to explore the possibilities of incorporating visual communication in their analysis and publications.

Info-Graphics (information graphics), are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge that present complex information quickly and clearly. The purpose of incorporating Info-graphics is to enable our clients to gauge the meaning and significance of complex information at a glance.

I invite you to drop in here from time to time to see what is happening. I look forward to your suggestions, comments, and contributions.

— Cordelia Gaffney, Manager, BNA Graphics