A short time ago, Ricardo Lopez of Hispanic Research, Inc. came to speak to my local chapter of QRCA (Qualitative Research Consultants Association) on alternative social media platforms we should consider when “building our brand.” I’d seen an image awhile back, showing content comparisons between Twitter and Facebook, which I thought he’d like to see. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t find the image again.
During this search, I kept seeing one word over and over again: infographic. When had that term become so mainstream? I really like these visual depictions of quantitative data – they’re more fun and easier to understand, plus they are often able communicate much more information. I’ve talked about infographics before in a newsletter piece, but never here.
To give you a couple of fun examples: the first showcases how restaurant sales went up, comparing chains within the fast food and sit-down segments. A much more engaging chart than the graphics of yesteryear! (Source: DesignReviver.com)
This is my favorite recent one, from Shanghai Web Designers. It visually summarizes what is done every 60 seconds on the Web: 70+ domain names are registered; 600+ new videos are uploaded to YouTube, 1,500 new blog posts go live – just to name a few. The scope of the Internet’s impact is clearly seen in this one snapshot.
In qualitative research, infographics morph into something else.
- Personas are used to offer a feel for a target audience.
- Illustrations are used to explain a theory or concept, such at the one I used when explaining Situational Decision-Making in this blog post (click here).
- Collages are used to showcase a variety of things, including harder-to-articulate feelings about a brand.
- Word Clouds are created from qualitative answers to highlight which words are used most often.
With the flood of infographics on the quantitative research side, my sense is that on the qualitative side, we need to bring what we’re doing up a notch – we can do better. So over the next few months, I intend to play when I’m reporting. I’m seeing some new tools on sites like MakeUseOf.com and, for a nominal fee, Gliffy.com. Maybe I’ll succeed and maybe I won’t. But it’ll be fun trying!
Any ideas you’d share about how you’re making qualitative research findings more visual – without the use of video? Would love to hear from you!!
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