I was digging through some old bookmarks of mine that were relevant to upcoming work in which I will attempt to wed presentation design and motion graphics. That’s when I came across this little gem from Marco Bagni, a motion graphics artist from Berlin. Obviously not all of it translates to the way I envision dynamic infographics1 to work, but wow, lots of inspiration in a very compact space.

InfoGraphic Reel (by Marco Bagni - LostConversation)

  1. Dynamic infographics is a working title for the concept I’m testing. This concept will have to work in the goldilocks condition paradigm of dual channel coding, the marketing phrase I invented for the method in which presentations and narrated animations, aka explainy videos, combine verbal and visual information. Catchy isn’t it? ↩︎

(Source: vimeo.com)

I consider explainy videos a particular genre of information visualization that follows established conventions by now. The video presented here is actually several years old,1 and yet I find it still works quite well as an example of many of these conventions:

A narrated script is being enhanced through simple motion graphics to illustrate complicated concepts and break them down into more easily comprehensible chunks. The visuals are closely related to information graphics, but can rarely stand alone, they need the narration to make sense. Using context dependent graphics helps set up a goldilocks condition2 of a cognitive gap. Neither the narrative nor the visuals are overpowering, both complement each other to facilitate an unencumbered uptake by the viewer. Other videos may feature more flourish to leverage the novelty effect, then again keeping the visuals simple helps a design to stay timeless.

To finally make good on old promises (this is only the beginning, btw) you can download the video from my lab. You may edit the video file, translate it, put a new voice track on or put subtitles on there as you see fit. Just please extend me the curtesy of a link, if you may, and do at least include a mention of my name, Jakob Jochmann, as the original source.

Keep reading

How A Virus Changes The World (by takepart)

This video is almost a year old and I just wanted to see if it turned out indicative of evolving trends in the way narratives are spun and pacing is ever more hectic in explainy1 web videos.

I have to say that the scat man voiceover and breakneck transitions are surely beyond an attention threshold that would stand up to recalling the factoids that are thrown at the viewer long term—and it is evident from the YouTube comments that even the audience there feels overwhelmed by the speed of delivery. 2 fast for uToob, zomg11! Then again I doubt that this video was meant to work as an information motion graphic.2 It’s effect, apart from the slightly meandering visual design language, derives mainly from evoking a feeling of familiarity in the maelstrom through clever use of pop culture reference woven into the mundane.

That may be a neat way to get the attention of a pop culture savvy audience looking for a visual snack, but I wonder how long the effect lasts: both the recollection rate and perceptiveness of the audience is likely to suffer over time. The health information is not tied to any overarching concepts that have longevity nor are they tied to an emotional response that would help recall the information. Ask yourself tomorrow just how much you remember about the video without watching it again. Secondly, using very audience specific hooks will probably not let the video age gracefully, as many of the references are likely to be lost on different or future audiences.3

I’m undecided as to how the style itself (using the aforementioned techniques) will project into the future, but I did not see too many popular videos from the explainy genre picking up this drastic kind of fast-food information consumption just yet. That may just be me, though. The pacing sure works for YouTube audiences in game reviews or vlogs, so perhaps we’ll get to see that kind of tempo in Super Bowl commercials eventually.

  1. I may just use this word more often. Explainy. That surely is one lasting trend among web videos. About 400 Internet years old now, so I guess these kind of videos have become a cultural technique that is here to stay and spawn sub-genres in the future. ↩︎

  2. Motion information graphic? Animated information graphic? ↩︎

  3. Also, speaking of references, there is the egregious failure to mention the one true safe haven in case of a pandemic: Madagascar. ↩︎

(Source: youtube.com)

This is so meta. Knowledge structures, visualization of said knowledge and/or ontology and managing complexity through mapping. All brought to you in an RSA animation, hence, a visualization of a speech featuring metaphorical illustration. The works. I guess it has been featured in other visualization and communication blogs, but if you have not seen it, do it now. Or whenever time allows.

90 minutes in 90 seconds.1

  1. Boy is drafting beats on the ipad fun. And boy, oh boy, is football fun. I’m referring, of course, to the version you play with your feet, which I love so much that I just co-started a new blog project that features even more things I like: interactive visualizations, media experiments and football talk. Yes, you read right. That. Just. Happened. You should visit On The Pitch to find out. ↩︎

Storytelling is a powerful tool to manage complexity. This is because you can attach pieces of unfamiliar information to a structure that is familiar to your audience. For the effect to work, then, it should be clear that you actually need to study what kind of narrative structures allow for embedding of information, and which kind of narrative among those structures is one that your audience gets. There is good reason for a canonical systematicity of narrative structures, but be aware that such systems need not transfer across all audiences alike.

Anyway, I just meant to drop you a few words of wisdom my Grandfather gave me:

Use proper tools!

Ironically Gramps did not have the proper tools for video recording, but then again, how else would his grandkids learn proper shaving technique?

(Source: vimeo.com)