Motion design visualisation for Fox & Co.
Fox & Blog

Why we use motion design to visualise data

  • April 2, 2016

Do your stakeholders struggle to understand the data you present? Do your customers get bored when you show them your latest reports and spreadsheets? If yes, it’s time to think again. Yes, big data can be very challenging. It’s complex, and there is a lot of it. It’s hard to make sense of, and even harder to explain it to other people. But there are other ways to share your data – ways that won’t make your audience fall asleep or despair.

Infographics are a great step up from spreadsheets. The concept of using pictures to understand data is not new: Just think about early maps or Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings explaining the human body. Our brains respond much better to visual input and can grasp a high amount of information in a short span of time.

Charles Minard’s 1869 chart is an early example of an infographic. It shows the number of men in Napoleon’s 1812 Russian campaign army, their movements, and the temperature on the return journey.
Charles Minard’s 1869 chart is an early example of an infographic. It shows the number of men in Napoleon’s 1812 Russian campaign army, their movements, and the temperature on the return journey.

However, there’s a limit to what infographics can do. A static infographic might provide a lot of insight, but it can be difficult to make sense of all the information: where do we start to read, where do we go to next? And if the data is too complex, they no longer work.

At this point, videos come in handy. In several frames, they guide the audience through the data and tell the story the way we want it to be told. They let us explain very complicated things in a simple way. Have a look at this animation for example.

It tries to show the scale of the universe. Can you imagine the same information constrained to plain words or an infographic? There would be a lot of big numbers, and it would be impossible to grasp. The animation, however, succeeds in giving us an idea, even though the topic is quite complex.

There is more to your data than just numbers and facts

So how do motion graphic visualisations explain your information?

  1. First of all, they enable people to quickly comprehend information, because we are much faster at analysing visual data.
  2. In a motion graphic, you can highlight relationships and patterns easily – for example through colours, size, motion, orientation and so forth.
  3. Visuals make it easy to discover emerging trends and communicate them in a straightforward way. Even if your information is very complicated, you will still be able to present it in a way that people will understand.
  4. Motion graphic visualisations allow you to communicate your brand to others. You can do this by following a certain visual style and tone of voice.
  5. Most importantly, they allow you to tell your story the way you want it to be told. There is always more to your data than just number and facts. There is a story behind it, and it should be told. This way people will remember it.

At Fox&Co, we are all about these stories. We use motion design to make sense of complex data and to present it in a beautiful and accessible way.  Do you have a complex business or product that you find difficult to explain? Get in touch; we’d love to help you tell your story!

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