Orders of Magnitude

    Infographics often deal with large numbers or large concepts, with the goal of making the viewer understand just how large they really are. This is also a huge failure point because designers and storytellers often don’t keep comparisons in the same orders of magnitude. You have heard the old distance metric, “If you stack all the X on top of each other, it would reach to the moon, and back!” This is a good reference to something that is 500,000 miles. People understand the distance to the moon better than they understand 500,000 miles. This is an example of a comparison done right. As soon as the comparison leaves the first order of magnitude, though, it becomes less relatable. Did you know that Chevy Volt owners have surpassed 100 million all-electric miles in the first two months since it launched? That’s like going to the moon and back, 210 times! There have been six man missions to the moon, how can you go there and back 210 times? The comparison simply is not relatable. It would be far better to do some math, a little research and get an example that is in the same magnitude. “In another 4 months, they will have driven the distance the Curiosity spacecraft traveled getting to Mars.” Such mismatched comparisons are often present in poor infographics. A recent report by Bersin & Associates shows that organizations spend $720 million annually to find ways to improve employee engagement. $720 Million dollars? That’s like buying 2,400 Lamborghinis! 2,400 Lamborghinis? What is that? That’s not very relatable, either. So how can we fix it? The trick is to find something else that costs $720,000,000, or thereabouts. This can be tricky, because that is a huge number, and there may not be much to compare it to — but let’s try it anyway. Some research turns up that we misplaced $700 million for post Katrina efforts, and we also spent $700 million on Russian helicopters for the Afghan defense forces. Both of these are off topic, so you need to be creative. It also turns out Lamborghini only makes around 2,400 cars a year. So while 2,400 is certainly out of our order of magnitude, the entire fleet is not. The statement becomes “$720 million dollars? That’s like buying every car Lamborghini made in a year.” That is much more relatable. So if you are creating or reviewing infographics, and you see a comparison, make sure it’s in the same order of magnitude. Jess Bachman is a Creative Director at Visual.ly. Follow him on Twitter.

    Rocking Lead Generation
    Webinar - The Resilient Marketers Guide to 2021
    Interactive Content Marketing Value Calculator
    Build Your Own Content Style Guide
    KIT Brand Guidelines Bundle
    Narrative Design: How product marketers can tell a story people can't ignore
    THE ULTIMATE BUYER PERSONA GENERATOR
    WORDPRESS GUIDE FOR CORPORATE BLOGS
    2021 MARKETING PLANNING BUNDLE
    INTERACTIVE CONTENT GUIDE
    SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
    ROCK CONTENT MAGAZINE The pillars of data-driven marketing
    PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE 3 marketing leaders share how Covid-19 changed their 2020 plans
    MARKET INTELLIGENCE
    CHECKLIST FOR WEBINARS
    talk to us visually
    MAKING CONTENT GROW INTO CUSTOMER FLOW
    The Resilient Marketers Guide to 2021
    Plan your 2021 marketing budget
    Quiz: Content Marketing Maturity
    Quiz: How Mature is Your Marketing Stack?
    How Mature is
    A COMPLETE GUIDE TO VISUALLY COMMUNICATE COMPLEX DATA
    HOW TO INCREASE YOUR ONLINE CONVERSIONS
    GETTING STARTED WITH INTERACTIVE CONTENT
    Talk to an expert
    create tailored experiences with Live
    live events with Rock Live
    improve your content marketing
    ROCK CONTENT MAGAZINE What is a content experience?
    Marketing budget calculator
    Idea Generator
    Increase your Ad Performance
    WEBINAR How to strengthen marketing strategies through technology
    Story is Strategy: Strategic Narrative as your Company's North Star
    Understanding the role of AI in marketing
    WEBINAR: Building and scaling your first sales machine
    The Role of Content in Aligning Marketing and Sales
    How to Innovate Content Marketing with a Product-Led Approach
    From the Past to the Future: HOW TO KEEP YOUR CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY COMPETITIVE
    Developing a new business category: how to make your brand stand out from the competition
    How content is leading the marketing rebellion
    Content Operations: the key to real performance
    Back to Future: How GE Keeps Reinventing Brand Journalism
    https://resources.rockcontent.com/jam-session-jason-miller
    Content Marketing Across Regions — the balance between global vs. local
    Social Impact Report 2020
    Interactive checklist -- increase blog's traffic
    2021 MARKETING CALENDARS
    What do you need, to make your Content Strategy Rock?
    How to Create a Rockstar Interactive Content Team
    Share
    Rock Content Writer Rock author vector
    Content writer at Rock Content.

    Subscribe to our blog

    Sign up to receive Rock Content blog posts

    Related Posts

    Want to receive more brilliant content like this for free?

    Sign up to receive our content by email and be a member of the Rock Content Community!

    Our site is customized for each country we operate in.

    Go to English website ->