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Visualising running barriers

The successful Breakfast Bites series this time focused on creating infographics. The first message: try staying away from PowerPoint and get creative on paper.

I walked into Wyoming on a beautiful sunny morning, to attend my second Breakfast Bites session, on infographics. I wasn’t sure what to expect. In my career so far, creating infographics has been the preserve of graphic designers or filmographers — so what could I learn about it?

We all sat down with our croissants, and Rachel started off by showing us some that she had made earlier. The reaction was surprise. Did she really make them? What programme did she use? Just PowerPoint? From that point on we were on board. We really wanted to know how to make something that looked so polished, engaging and memorable.

Rachel explained that it’s best to start away from PowerPoint, and just put your idea for visualising your data on paper. Get creative and think of a relevant metaphor…for holidays, an airport departure board…for hair dye, an instruction leaflet.

We were split off into groups, given felt tips and ominously blank A3 pieces of paper, and were tasked with creating an infographic from four pretty standard debrief slides about the triggers and barriers to running.

We had a few ideas, and immediately put pen to paper. Our first idea, a mountain with peaks to climb, worked pretty well but missed a few crucial data points. Time to start again. Our second, a running track with hurdles, friends cheering at the sides, and rewards ahead, seemed to be a success. Everyone in the team was shouting ideas, pointing, and drawing, and finally our masterpiece was ready to be shared.

It was so interesting to see everyone else’s infographics, their process and what they were expressing. And best of all, we all got badges to reward our hard work.

We stepped out of Wyoming into the sun, having been challenged throughout the day and with our minds working overtime; thinking of all the findings which could have been turned into infographics to inspire and engage our clients, and how to use our new found skills in the future.

 

Miranda Brown
Copyright © Association for Qualitative Research, 2016