Friday, October 30, 2009

What's a Gruzzle?

So, what's a Gruzzle?  With extensive use of Venn Diagrams, GL Hoffman often posts these visual blog posts on his blog, What Would Dad Say, and Fast Company has also started pubishing them as well.

So back to the original question, What's a Gruzzle?  Here's a really good answer, by one of his readers:

But here's the official answer:

You can also follow @GLHoffman on Twitter

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Visualizing American 2009 TV Season Ratings

Rachel Cunliffe has created a great infographic for the new 2009 US TV shows showing how their viewer numbers are fairing compared to each other and their own premiere episodes.  I only see three shows that have a higher average viewers than their premiere.  Others are not doing well at all, and they probably won't be around for much longer...
Here's a summary of how the new season TV shows are faring in the US based on episodes screened to date.
For comparison purposes, this year's American Idol premiere ratings have been included.
TBL, aka The Beautiful Life, has already been canned by the CW.

Great work Rachel!  You can follow Rachel on Twitter at @cre8d

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Graphic History of Newspaper Circulation

From The Awl, this certainly isn't the prettiest infographic I've ever seen (it's basically just a line chart), but it tells it's story to the viewer very well.  Maybe there are times when a simple chart from Excel can do the job...NAH.   From a title that proclaims "A Graphic History of Newspaper Circulation" we certainly expect much more visual information.

I'm sure many of the graphic designers reading this blog could turn this data into a significantly better infographic (hint, hint...).
Every six months, the Audit Bureau of Circulations releases data about newspapers and how many people subscribe to them. And then everyone writes a story about how some newspapers declined some amount over the year previous. Well, that's no way to look at data! It's confusing—and it obscures larger trends. So we've taken chunks of data for the major newspapers, going back to 1990, and graphed it, so you can see what's actually happened to newspaper circulation. (We excluded USA Today, because we don't care about it. If you're in a hotel? You're reading it now. That's nice.)
Some surprising trends: the New York Post has the same circulation it had two decades ago! Also, the once-captivating battle of the New York City tabloids has become completely moot.
Some unsurprising trends: the Los Angeles Times is an absolute horrorshow. Not shown: the Boston Globe disappearing off the bottom of this chart, in a two decade decline from 521,000 in 1990 to 264,105 this year.
Found on Daring Fireball.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Eye Tracking Infographic Plots

Eye tracking is used is a number of different fields of study; consumer interaction design, advertisements, product packaging, website/software usability, store shelf merchandising design and many more.  The results are plotted visually as an infographic, because it instantly makes the data understandable to the researchers.

In the fixation map image above, a participant's focal points on a website are tracked and the points are numbered in sequential order (like connect-the-dots).  The dots are also each sized based on "Gaze Duration", the amount of time the participant spent looking at that particular point.  In the example above, it took the participant 90 fixations to find the information they were looking for...not a good site design.

Of course, you can narrow down the fixation points and only see the first few points that attracted the participant's attention.  Answering the question "What does the user see first?"  In this example, the participant looking at the flight website saw the hotel ad first.

It's not just for websites.  When you use this method for product packaging, you can tell what the consumer sees in the store during the first few seconds, and the popular understanding is that you only have 3 seconds of the consumer's attention in the store.  The use of the infographic fixation map instantly conveys to the packaging designers what the consumer sees, and what parts of the design are ignored.

The fixation maps are converted into heat maps to aggregate many participant results together.  You can see here that participants aren't seeing the "Diesel for Successful Living" message.

Thanks to Colin from IDG Consulting for providing the images!  I have used IDG for consumer research projects in the past, and I highly recommend them.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Procrastination: The Infographic Video

Although I really like this video by Johnny Kelly at Design You Trust (Good-Okay-Brilliant-Great job Johnny!), I not convinced this is infographics.

What do you think?  Is this infographics or illustration?

Found on The MLxperience

Saturday, October 24, 2009

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Until this week, no one had ever asked to subscribe to Cool Infographics by email. I assumed everyone followed by using an RSS reader, came to the blog site or was following me on Twitter.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Collaborative, Online Mind Map about Mind Mapping Software

I know, that's a mouthful of a title.  MindMeister is an online, collaborative mind mapping tool that lets multiple users edit a common mind map.  Essentially, its a visual wiki, that allows anyone to makes changes to the data, but you need to be logged in so that it can track who makes the changes.

Andrew Wilcox has created a public mind map with the catchy title "The Strengths and Weaknesses of Mind Mapping Software Applications".  You can see all of the different mind mapping software packages, the pros and cons of each one, and add your own comments.

Your voice can still be heard, a few of the software applications don't have any comments at all yet.  They need people to help add information to the map.

Found on the Mind Mapping Software Blog, by Chuck Frey

Also, MindMeister has an iPhone app that allows you to view and edit online mind maps from your iphone.  It's $6.99US in the iTunes App Store.  MindMeister (mind mapping)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Left vs. Right Ideology Concept Map

David McCandless and Stefanie Posavec from Information Is Beautiful have created this Left vs. Right concept map to help explain the differences in political opinions.
Of course, the political spectrum is not quite so polarised. Actually, it’s more of a diamond shape, apparently. But this is how it’s mostly presented via the media – left wing vs. right wing, liberal vs. conservative, Labour vs Tory. And perhaps in our minds too… 
This kind of visual approach to mapping concepts really excites me. I like the way it coaxes me to entertain two apparently contradictory value systems at the same time. Or, in other words, I like the way it f**ks with my head.

Using this blank template, David and Stefanie created two versions  One for the U.S. (top) and one for the World (below).
There are two versions with different colours: a US and a World version. This is because the US and Switzerland are the only countries in the world where red = right wing and blue = left wing. Grrr!

Found on VizWorld and Information Is Beautiful.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Circular Periodic Table of the Elements

Mohd Abubakr has redrawn the classic periodic table in a circular pattern to improve the proximity and relationships between the elements.
So why change it? According to Mohd Abubakr from Microsoft Research in Hyderabad, the table can be improved by arranging it in circular form. He says this gives a sense of the relative size of atoms--the closer to the centre, the smaller they are--something that is missing from the current form of the table. It preserves the periods and groups that make Mendeleev's table so useful. And by placing hydrogen and helium near the centre, Abubakr says this solves the problem of whether to put hydrogen with the halogens or alkali metals and of whether to put helium in the 2nd group or with the inert gases.
The strongest feedback about the new circular table is that you have to rotate it to read it.  Kind of a problem when you print a poster and post it in a classroom or a laboratory.  Although I think it's an easy thing to remedy by changing the orientation of the text.

Original post on Technology Review by MIT, and found on VizWorld by Randall Hand.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

10/GUI - Re-imagining a Desktop Touch Interface

10/GUI from C. Miller on Vimeo.

A little off-topic, but I love this video idea for a new touch interface to replace the mouse from 10/GUI. Designed by R. Clayton Miller.
This video examines the benefits and limitations inherent in current mouse-based and window-oriented interfaces, the problems facing other potential solutions, and visualizes my proposal for a completely new way of interacting with desktop computers. 
Thanks for the link Tyler!  Found on Ignore The Code.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

50 Years of Space Exploration - Visual Flight Map

National Geographic published this amazing flight map that shows the flight paths of all 200 space missions in the last 50 years.  A zoomable map is on the NG website, and a high-res image is available from Adam Crowe on Flickr.

Art by Sean McNaughton, National Geographic Staff, Samuel Velasco, 5W Infographics.

Found on Fast Company.

Monday, October 12, 2009

How to Crack a Master Lock [infographic]

Designed by Mark Edward Campos, this infographic takes the confusing instructions that have been on the Internet for years, and translates them into a simple graphic.  64,000 possible combinations reduced to less than 100 attempts.
This design project was born to understand the inner workings of the padlock, and to develop a notation system to engage the viewer and provide a guide to beat a pad lock.
Found on Gizmodo.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Information vs. Confusion chart

Love it!

From Jessica Hagy on Indexed.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

CEO Compensation Infographic Contest Winner!

In September, GOOD magazine held an infographic contest to illustrate the top CEO compensation packages.  The above infographic by Dee Adams wins the prize!
Dee Adams’s piece “The Top 8 of CEO Compensation” does an excellent job of illustrating the massive salaries of CEOs and relating them to regular employees in a clean and simple manner. It’s our winner, and Adams will take home our prize package, including a GOOD T-shirt, a free subscription, and $250. You’ll be able to see her infographic in print in our next issue as well.
All of the entries are available for viewing here, but I wanted to include a few of my other favorites:

By Robin Richards:

By Jessica Karle:

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Billion Dollar Gram

This is one of those simple, but great infographics.  Once the news starts talking about "billions" of dollars, the brain goes numb and it all runs together because the numbers are too big for us to comprehend.

David McCandless, from Information Is Beautiful, created this tree map to show the relative size of the different billion dollar spending and budgets in the news.

Great job David, keep them coming!

Friday, October 2, 2009

China's 60th Anniversary - Then and Now

From the October issue of Fast Company,
Don't get all worked up by the headline, Sinophiles. We're talking about the 60th birthday of the founding of the People's Republic, which Mao Zedong declared on October 1, 1949. Here's a look at China then and now.
Most people would have used a bar chart, but a little good design work makes this a compelling infographic.

Not easy to find the designer credit, but the infographic is from Nicholas Felton.