Monday, October 29, 2012


Between my research class, an account planning class, and trying to re-work past projects, I have been unable to escape numbers this semester. I have to admit, I have been pretty excited for finally feeling like I am enrolled in an legitimate academic institution. With all the numbers and data I have been finding, I have also been figuring out how to decipher what is important, relevant, and/or compelling and how to construct it into neat and tidy story that is inspiring to others.

I found this infographic on AirBnB's growth from their start up to January 2012. I love me a good infographic, when done right they make numbers easily digestible, like this...
 Mmmmmmmm, green monster smoothie, you make it so easy to 
consume three pounds of kale and broccoli

Unfortunately, infographics done wrong can be less like an easily digestible smoothie and more like this
 Nothing says love like chewing the food before you feed it to your toddler

The AirBnB infographic fell somewhere around here
Hope you don't have diverticulitis

It looked good and made all those numbers really easy to understand while telling a compelling story with them. They didn't do anything ground breaking with this infographic; it looks good, shares some data, and is formatted in the ridiculously long column format that seems as if it was meant to takeover Pinterest. The story of the company's growth was told in an interesting, and very clear to see way from start to finish and they even gave multiple types of graphics to re-iterate the point they were trying to make.
This is probably my favorite graphic out of the whole bunch because they didn't even give numbers (besides the date.) They had the numbers, they knew exactly how many listings there were/are and they could have just written them out but who ever digested those stats realized that showing a block by block graphic told a far more compelling story than just giving straight numbers. 
The above graphic is my least favorite in the story. This is an example of design hindering, rather than helping, the story. My issue with it is that they are trying to show how many offices they have and point out that they are all over the world, but with the map being oriented away from us and being rectangular as opposed to circular or oval, there is a lot of the southern hemisphere that is looking neglected and making their offices in 9 countries seem less impressive than it should, or could.

Overall, I really like this infographic because it has so many examples of ways to digest numbers while telling a story with them. I appreciate the individual graphics that are not as successful as some of the others because they demonstrate the importance of being able to edit yourself in order to tell a well crafted story.

Infographic found here
Smoothie found here
Alicia Silverstone found here
LaraBar found here

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