Episode #24 of the Tiny Graphics Advent Calendar, published by Marius Popescu for De Amicis.
Clothes do not make the man! Why should we then add graphics in our articles and applications? Especially when we’re not designers!
Indeed, the purpose is not to attract a customer using a visual effect which is only good looking, without arguments and not based on data. This would not be professional and would give a superficial image of your enterprise. Instead, this is about presenting your content in another form.
How a non-designer can create graphics for their articles and applications
Dashboards are a typical example of a solution to summarize a mass of information. The goal is to be clear and to signal problems and actions.
To create dashboards which are useful and effective you need to have a strategy for your data analysis, for the studied problem, and for the proposed solutions and actions.
The most used visual elements are:
- Chronological charts
- Comparison charts
If you already have a dashboard in place you can go forward by using multiple sparklines.
What tool can show you the regions and countries where your product strategy begins to work?
The best example of a tool which helps you understand the context of a topic is a map. Excel, Google Charts and other such tools allow you creating data-based maps (even interactive ones) to visualise your sales data or functional coverage.
Once you have summarized and shown your topic’s context, you can move to the next level and study the details.
The possibilities are almost endless, as they depend on your product, domain, and context in which your product evolves.
Often the trap is to want to say it all in an article or a graphic. This is very difficult and risks leaving readers wanting for more details.
However, a better strategy is to divide your topic into 5, 10, or 15 sub-topics. Then, go a step further and divide them again into 10 sub-sub-topics. Even if you stop at this point, you will have between 50 and 150 detailed topics which will allow you to explore in detail your product, the problem it solves, or the domain, by using again synthesis and context.
I strongly believe in the right tool for the right job. Even more so, I prefer the tool you have at hand. This series of articles and graphics have been created using tools such as Excel, Powerpoint, Google Sheets and Balsamiq. However, the special mention goes to … Microsoft Paint!
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