The Power of an Infographic

If you’re old enough to remember, you know how USA Today got its start—taking the news of the day and synthesizing it down to easy-to-read and understand shorter news stories. It was the beginning of the bulleted lists and color coded newspaper sections. That format has successfully continued for more than 25 years allowing readers to get a sense of what’s going on in the world by glancing at the news.

Today, we rely on multiple digital sources far more than print to get our news and information. We check the online newspaper version on our computers, read Facebook and check Twitter from our smartphones, and use tablets to keep up with LinkedIn. Whew. That’s a lot of information coming at you. No wonder we often say, “I remember seeing that somewhere….”

With the digital age came the invention of the infographic. Remember Wordle, the visual display of a variety of words in a graphic layout? The infographic has come a long way since Wordle, with the addition of pictures, graphics, avatars, multiple fonts and colors. The infographic is a visual representation of formatting data–that could be a page of boring numbers and statistics—in a visually pleasing way that creates instant understanding. Since most people tend to remember what they’ve seen, rather than what they’ve read, the infographic is the perfect tool to help your message stand out in an already noisy digital environment. The visual format helps makes your point easy to understand and remember.

An infographic can be used to show

  • Poll results
  • Customer survey results
  • Sales statistics
  • Comparative and contrasting data
  • How a process flows or a device works
  • The key components of a news story or trend
  • The structure of a business approach, model or industry

At Bottom Line, we’ve developed infographics for our clients to help them tell their unique stories. Avatars and colorful key statistics tell the story of the Affordable Care Act to readers of a large community magazine. A poster-sized, table-top display used by an emergency medical services provider quickly and easily shows the size, reach and expertise of the company to visitors at events. A detailed, but highly visual, description of a complex management system helps targeted audiences better understand the narrative description captured in a companion book. A simple, large infographic captures both the structure of a healthcare quality improvement organization, as well as its members’ key results. 

WCHQ InfographicV5

GCAS Infographic 11×17-1

All these infographics can be shared in multiple formats—digital, print, presentations, video and more. And, because we work with skilled graphic designers, we often repurpose key elements of an infographic use in social media and additional print and web placements.

While you can create your own infographics with many online programs, the more sophisticated your content and the greater the opportunities to repurpose elements of the final graphic, the more likely you are to find success and satisfaction with a professional designer.

Words are great, and we love them in our shop, and linking only the most powerful words with equally powerful graphics and images in a striking design is often the most compelling way to tell and see a story. Try it, and discover for yourself the power of an infographic.

 

mHealth – The Digital Doctor

Think about the last time you went to the mall or out to lunch. How many people did you see paying more attention to their smartphones than the world around them?

Because of the rapid increase in smartphone use, revenue from mobile applications has skyrocketed. Many people use applications for games, the news, and social media accounts. However, we are most interested in how Mobile Health (mHealth) apps are becoming more popular.

There are more than 10,000 medical/healthcare apps available in Apple’s iTunes App Store. In fact, mHealth is the 3rd fastest-growing app category for both iPhone and Android smartphones. Doctors and even patients can now use apps to perform EKGs, diagnose sleep apnea and monitor asthma symptoms.

Here is a list of some of the most popular mHealth apps on the market:

mhealth apps

Handed a new project? Mix up a little science, a little art.

Successful project management is both an art and a science. It’s an art because managing well requires a point person who not only demonstrates exemplary skills, but also the right attitude to keep the team engaged, flexible, accessible and on track. It’s a science because following a process, using the right tools and meeting deadlines is essential. The following best practice characteristics include a bit of both.

Create a team with a clearly defined leader. Even if several folks have primary responsibility for key parts of the project, designate an overall project lead to keep everyone and everything on track.

Plan, plan and plan some more. Having a goal-oriented, strategic, detailed plan that includes tactical timelines, deliverables, approvers, budgets and other project-related information is the road map forward.

Use the right tools. Staying organized requires tools that allow prompting and tracking of everything from budget to small tactical steps to big tactical steps (which often include multiple small steps). The larger the project, the more sophisticated the tool you’ll need. Online project management tools work well, and they’re almost always supplemented by task lists, calendars and even wall charts to keep key dates and mile markers front and center.

Communicate often. Communication within and among the team is critical, but so is communication with key stakeholders. Frequent, clear communication, including periodic detailed updates, helps manage expectations, allows the team to address feedback and generates a positive image of the work that’s going on.

Stay flexible. The plan is laid, the work is started, everything is humming along. Oops. A key team member has a family emergency that takes her away from the project for a full week. Or senior leadership who authorized the project has decided to expand its scope. Or compliance nixes the team’s best idea. Working together, staying calm and thinking creatively, the team is equipped to artfully address the situation.

Next time a project lands on your desk or you’re assigned to the team, stir up the best of your artistic and scientific skills, knowledge and heart, and see if the project results and the process for getting there weren’t more satisfying and effective.