The Power of Infographics: Using Pictures to Communicate and Connect With Your Audiences Paperback – Jun 15 2012
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From the Back Cover
Foreword by Guy Kawasaki, author of Enchantment and former chief evangelist of Apple
INFOGRAPHICS ARE TODAY’S MOST POWERFUL WAY TO
• Tell Your Story
• Make Your Point
• Deliver Instant Knowledge
• Get Results!
• People Love Them
• And 1 More Thing: THEY WORK.
LEARN HOW TO VISUALIZE:
• Big Ideas
• Who, When, Where, and more
• Personal Stuff
YOU NEED A PROCESS. HERE IT IS:
• Idea Processing
• Publishing (everywhere!)
THIS IS BUSINESS. GET MAX VALUE:
• Build Brands
• Serve Clients
• Align Teams
• Measure ROI (Executives Like That)
About the Author
Mark Smiciklas is the president of Intersection Consulting, a Vancouver-based digital marketing and communications agency that teaches organizations how to leverage the dynamics of Web 2.0 to achieve business goals. He is an established digital marketing and social media practitioner recognized for his visual thinking and strategic, no-nonsense approach. His service offering is framed by core beliefs in listening, stakeholder engagement, trust creation, and employee empowerment. An interest in the evolution of social business continues to motivate him, as does a passion for teaching. Smiciklas has developed and taught social media strategy classes for undergraduates and adult learners at a number of Canadian universities. He also has spoken about a wide variety of digital marketing topics at corporate and public events and workshops. His genuine love of technology and people continues to ignite ongoing learning and new thinking that aim to help individuals and organizations connect with their audiences. Smiciklas hangs out full-time at intersectionconsulting.com/ blog. He can be found on Twitter at @Intersection1. He is also a regular contributor to socialmediaexplorer.com, the popular digital and social media marketing and online communications blog. He lives in North Vancouver, BC, Canada, with his lovely wife, three kids, and Max the dog.
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Top Customer Reviews
Mark Smiciklas refers to Column Five on page 113 of this book. I followed up by purchasing their book on "infographics"...
"The Power of Infographics" delivers a solid cornerstone for an immersive approach to developing a sensate grasp of the subject as a powerful communications tool to a broad landscape of audiences...
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In the course of tediously wading through the book I was shocked by how often and badly the author's example graphics violated the principles described in the text, and not merely "just over the speed limit" violations, we're talking capital offenses. In fairness, his intro and graphical resume (Figs. 1.1 & 4.2) are quite good; I will post examples of good and bad in product photos, but suffice to say that virtually all the infographics contain distractions from the core idea or story point which need to be eliminated. Happy colors are fine and can help communicate, but swirls of randomly colored icons and arrows indicating nothing of import (Fig 3.13) are not "compelling" rather: they indicate the presenter's reach exceeds their grasp and undermine their credibility. One feels sympathy for clients using some of these consultants.
In contrast: the work in Indexed or xkcd: volume 0. They've become worldwide internet phenomena with clear, simple black and white portrayals containing humor and typically: important truths.
The book's goals are admirable, but it's own message was not well executed (or perhaps not well understood).
Authors: please do a full revision. Consultants used for source material: use sensible color schemes, minimize until there's nothing left to remove, and select appropriate visual metaphors - for example: don't portray valuable ideas as lightbulbs being dropped from some height onto a conveyor as in Fig. 6.2, or the awful Fig. 7.1. Use well aligned designs like the excellent Fig. 7.2 metaphor of a game with progress, winning, risk & uncertainty which is brilliant, despite questionable color choices.
I wasn't particularly impressed with Content Burger which displayed data in the form of a hamburger but the Stairway to Brand Heaven and Hell was clever and memorable.
Much of the internet already uses the Price Visualization charts so that was nothing new but the Customer Front Line makes a strong point immediately when discussing issues related to who in an organization actually knows what's going on.
If I hadn't just seen the resume infographics the week before, I would have thought this guy was a genius. But it was useful for the book to tell you where to go to find software to create these graphics.
We already use project management software at work for major construction projects but it was useful to see how they presented a 12 week timeline for only three people.
The strong point of the book is the resources cited in Chapter 11. Having spent several hours last week unsuccessfully searching for the resume infographics software, I recognize the value in these resources.
Excellent book. I do not agree with the low-rated reviews.
My biggest quibble with the book is that the most useful chapter came at the end of the book. I would have liked to see the chapter listing various information graphics resources and reference images near the beginning of the book to help build a visual vocabulary and understanding of what is possible. Additionally, if you are looking for a book to help you with the mechanics of creating an infographic - this book won't be very helpful. It isn't a how-to on how to use Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop - but it is the perfect book for someone leading a team tasked with creating infographics and shaping how those infographics will be used once they are created.
The term "infographics" is a rather obvious portmanteau of "information graphics", which is to say, a way of conveying information in a visual format rather than a textual (or other) one. Graphs are probably the most familiar sort of infographic, but it essentially is any image or set of images that can illustrate a point.
This book discusses the uses of infographics to relate various ideas, such as statistics, chronologies, organizational structures or processes. Certainly, there are times when infographics can simplify a message: to use a couple cliches, pictures can be worth a thousand words and they can help you see the forest instead of focusing on the trees. The book also discusses the basics of setting up infographics and various resources that can be used.
While reading this book, however, I couldn't help but notice things that were missing. In particular, I think Smiciklas should have written more about common problems with infographics: for example, ways that graphs can misrepresent information, making trends seem larger or smaller than they actually are, or using bad analogies. I think a few illustrations of flawed infographics would have been helpful (after all, one way we learn is through the mistakes of ourselves and others).
Finally, for a book that is all about "saying it with pictures", I actually found many of the examples provided to be relatively weak or confusing. On the Amazon rating scale, this merits three stars. It's wide in range, but shallower in depth than it needs to be to be a truly great book.