In the information-based world of the Internet, data and analysis on almost any subject needs to be both compelling and visually attractive for knowledgeable, savvy readers. That is why information graphics—popularly called, infographics—are the coolest and most eye-catching ways to present research studies and other statistical data.
Instead of long boring paragraphs and Excel charts, infographics make the best use of colorful graphic design techniques and illustrations to convey information often about controversial and insightful topics. We have published several articles about infographics, as well as provided a list of awesome tools for creating them. But if you are an avid infographics reader like I am, you may have found it difficult to view presentations on your computer screen.
I have saved several infographics as PDF files so that I could comfortably view them on my iPad. But I knew eventually a smart developer would produce an app specifically designed for downloading and viewing them on a mobile device. Well the media company Column Five has done just that, with their aptly called iOS app, Infographics.
I am not sure if infographics were around before the iPad, but I can certainly say they make a great couple. Infographics looks great on the iPad. This presentation app is a simple download of what seems to be a few hundred of Column Five’s inforgraphics for its clients, which include names like Esquire magazine, History.com, PlayStation, TurboTax, The Atlantic magazine, Nokia, and Travelocity.
The features and user interface of the Infographics app is pretty straightforward and basic. All the infographics download as a two column list—featuring a graphic thumbnail, and a title with description for each visual study. The infographics can be shared via e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter. A link to the sponsoring site is also provided for each infographic. As the app is web-based, its content can be automatically updated with Column Five’s latest presentations.
Though it is easy to slide navigate between each presentation, the app often crashes in the process. Many reviewers have complained about this, but I’m sure the developers will rectify the problem in the next update. Also, the presentations in both the app and its built-in web browser take a while to load, probably because of the high resolution and size of the presentations.
Additional features for tagging presentations as favorites, viewing them in categories or by keywords, and the ability to search for specific titles and topics would be very useful.
The range of graphic presentations are awesomely varied. Topics include employment and workforce related studies, environmental issues, the state of the economy and personal finance, the realities of social media and how it is used, various historical presentations, and of course the studies related to technology. Some presentations are editorial in style, while others are meant to inform or entertain. None of them I’ve viewed so far read like boring academic journal articles.
For our MUO techie audience, here are a few sample presentations you might be interested in.
This presentation is of course a lighthearted history of the contributions that Steve Jobs has made to Apple since 1976.
This study, based on “more than 80 million aggregated and anonymous responses” from 700,000 users of Hunch.com, not only reports which smartphone operating system holds the market share in the second quarter of 2011, but it also reports the values and personality traits of the users. The study suggests that iOS users, for example, are healthier eaters than than are Droid users. Hmm, okay.
While the percentage of users (Twitter, 34%, and Facebook, 33%)–ages 23-35–of these sites are about the same, their loyalty to product and service brands are significantly different in many areas, according to this study.
In the areas of cloud technology, will we live in the cloud rather than on the desktop? 71% of responders said yes. According to this study, “By 2020, most people won’t do their work with software running on a general purpose PC. Instead they will work in an Internet-based application such as Google Docs.” However, will there be enough cloud storage to meet content demand? This study predicts not; it says there will be 60% rise in shortage in the next decade.
These and other presentations will give you hours of insight, and in many cases reading enjoyment. And thanks Column Five, if you’re an iPad or iPhone user, you won’t have to sit in front of your computer to view them.
Let us know what you think of this application. And start here to see our other articles on infographics.