4. Infographic

Task: Infographic Poster
      The infographic project started with the sampling and surveying of a group of people.  You calculated confidence intervals around your sample data.  Now you need to produce a visual display that clearly and honestly communicates the story of your data.  The group portion of the project should follow the checklist below.  Maximize the quality of the high-point bullets to earn full team points.  Additional parts of the project involve a presentation, peer feedback, and individual paragraph response reflecting on your team's work and process.
      • Questions and poster elements
        • [R] Use at least four categorical graphs (pie chart, bar graph, partially-filled image) on your poster.
        • [R] Use at least two categorical summary statistics (proportion) on your poster.
        • [R] Use data from at least five different questions.
      • Sampling
        • [1 pt] Written summary of how you sampled your population, and your sample size, are somewhere on the poster (probably in small text near the bottom).
      • Confidence intervals
        • [1 pt] Margin of error is reported near each graph or statistic.
        • [1 pt] Generic sentence explaining that each margin of error is based on 95% confidence is somewhere on the poster (probably in small text near the bottom).
      • Stats and graphs
        • [2 pts] Graph colors / embedded images contrast well with each other so the bars / slices are easy to tell apart.  Colors fit in with the general theme of the entire poster.
        • [2 pts] Graph titles clearly communicate the question AND results without restating it verbatim.  For example: "How many people came with you to the zoo" could be turned into the title "Oxbow visitors come with an average of 2.7 people to the zoo".  In this way, the title tells you both the question and summarizes the results.
        • [2 pts] Graphs use simplified labels and images rather than legends to communicate the contents.
        • [2 pts] Graphs are honest.  Shaded area in graphs is proportional to the survey result.  Bar graphs start at zero.  Colors don't seek to confuse the reader.  Precision is not over-stated / margin of error is clearly connected to story of a given graph.  Abbreviations or shortened labels can still be understood.  Question phrasing is similar between survey and poster.
      • Layout, story, and aesthetic
        • [R] Your names are visible somewhere on the poster.
        • [1 pt] Poster has a clever yet clear title the connects to the theme of the questions and the population under study.
        • [1 pt] Fonts, font-sizes, and text colors are consistent throughout.  This means that each graph's title should probably be the same size and use the same font.  The main title should be bigger and should not use a default font (no Arial, Calibri, Helvetica, etc. for the title).  The graph titles should be easy to read.  Summary stats used in a sentence (such as "Over 42% of students thought...") might look better bolded or in a different color.
        • [4 pts] Story: Layout and content help to form a coherent story.  Content is organized to support the flow of the story.  Irrelevant questions are discarded from the poster.  Without a person speaking by the poster, it is clear where the eye should travel to take in the graph.
        • [4 pts] Aesthetic: Layout is beautiful and eye-catching, yet simple.  Graphs fit in with overall theme.  Layout is not cramped -- use white space appropriately so everything is not squished together.  Text supports content but fits into the visual theme.
      Task: Infographic Presentation
          • Presentation prep
            • Team prepares a 1 minute presentation of the key aspects of the poster and its supporting research
            • Each person on the team prepares to give the presentation on their own and rehearses with group.
            • Presenter faces and makes eye contact with the audience.  Presenter does not need to look at or touch the computer / printed poster for at least the first 15 seconds as s/he explains the overall story of the target population and results.
            • Each person on the team is prepared to answer reasonable questions about the data, its collection, and its interpretation.
          • Final gallery walk (individually scored, peer-based evaluation)
            • [1 pt] You give a full 1 minute presentation to the students and adults who pass by during rotations
            • [1 pt] You make eye contact, engage the listeners, and do not become overly dependent on the poster (rule of thumb: don't touch the visual for the first 15 seconds)
            • [1 pt] You stay focused on the overall story of the data without getting too bogged-down in a specific question/graph
            • [1 pt] You are honest and do not overstate your conclusions when presenting your data
            • [1 pt] You are able to answer reasonable questions of people who visit your group
          Task: Feedback
              • Team feedback 1
                • Write two things you like about the way each teammate works in your group (include yourself)
                • Write one thing that each teammate could improve the way they work in your group (include yourself)
                • Sit facing each other with no other objects or distractions in between each other
                • Choose a person to be the first person read to.  Each person, including that person, reads what they wrote about that teammate.  Do this for each person in the group before discussing.
                • Discuss the feedback you provided each other as a group.
                • Each person writes one thing they will focus on to be the best teammate possible on a post-it and sticks it on the edge of their computer.
              • Gallery walk
                • Travel with your group to each infographic when it is time to rotate
                • Each person should leave at least one post-it about:
                  • Graphs: do you like the design?  does it appear dishonest?  do you understand what it is talking about?  are there legends?
                  • Layout: is it cramped?  do the colors work well together?  do the fonts look consistent?  do you walk away thinking "wow'?
                  • Story: does the title give you a good idea of the topic?  do the questions/graphs selected support the main point?  does your eye naturally flow through the poster?

              Data visualization introduction
                  TED Talk by David McCandless highlighting the power of making data visual.

                  1.  Look at both of the following infographics: Smartphones and Death and Taxes
                  • a. What kind of data is being displayed (categorical or quantitative)?
                  • b. How is the designer displaying this data?
                  • c. What do you think is more or less effective about this display than the traditional bar graph or pie chart?  Consider clarity, emotional impact, and visual design.

                  Free Response Prep
                      Using your own infographic as an example, explain how to make a clear, beautiful, and honest graph of categorical data.

                      Using your own infographic as an example, explain how to create a layout of text, summary stats, and graphs to tell the story of the data.

                      This was your first full cycle of selecting a population, designing questions, collecting data, analyzing and summarizing data, graphically displaying data, and presenting data in a story.  Why is this cycle important to use in this class?

                      Your infographic started as a collection of simple graphs and sketches, but by the end, it probably evolved into something very different.  Explain what led to the changes and improvements.

                      Explain what techniques YOUR team used to provide meaningful feedback to each other about working process.  How did they affect your ability to work together as a team?

                          Creation tools
                          • Layout tools
                            • Illustrator (if you know it well).  Here is a great tutorial to get you started if you already know the software.  It is the bomb and we have it in the lab.
                            • Photoshop (if you know it well).  We have a full version of this in the lab too, and it is also excellent for poster layout.
                            • Powerpoint (if you know it fairly well).  Create a one-slide presentation, change the slide size to be the size of a small poster, and you have one of the best layout tools of all time.  Mr. Pethan got through college making posters in Powerpoint and they turned out pretty decently.  Google Slides also works well, especially for teams, though it lacks some handy features.
                            • Web tools: there are free tools online that will not only make graphs, but also handle the layout.  Sometimes, they take away too much control from the creator, so there is a trade-off, but these tools add a lot of simplicity without sacrificing overall design.
                          • Graph-generating tools
                            • Plot.ly: if you have fairly complex data, this site can make it absolutely beautiful.
                            • Google sheets/charts: a nice one-step creation if you use Google forms for your survey.
                            • Excel: the original beast of data -- makes a lot of graphs.  Note that 3D tilted pie charts are banned because they are not pretty.  It's like WordArt (also banned) for charts.
                            • StatKey: not always the prettiest, but very functional for quantitative data.
                            • The web tools above (layout tools) also make some of their own graphs, especially for categorical data.


                          Practice solutions
                              1. Infographics
                              • a. It is all categorical data.  A percentage is almost always representing the relative frequency of one category (such as what percent is spent on defense or what percent of people own smartphones).
                              • b. There are lots of correct answers here -- compare your thoughts with a peer.
                              • c. Again, there are lots of good answers.  A well-done infographic will often allow you to see the breakdown of proportions and look good too.  The Death and Taxes poster heavily uses area relative to the other bubbles to display proportion, even though each part is not a "pie" slice.  The smartphones poster also uses area in neighboring bubbles and by coloring objects.  Since these graphs are a little harder to get exact values from, it is most helpful when there is a clear label.