Line graphs are amazing! They can tell a powerful story with so little on the page.
Take this for Example…
1. Facebook Overtakes Google
This is a perfect example of a newsworthy hook.
There is little in the way of fancy visualisation or design, but the data and the story are very strong. So much so, the original post on the Hitwise blog was linked to by 566 different websites. Now, that’s a serious hook!
2. Foursquare Users Double After Facebook Launches Places
Two things stand out for me here. The first is, I believe(?!) this backs up some basic principles in business.
The first to enter the market is often the one that remains the leader.
When a competitor enters the market, you might think the first company will lose a share of the market, but in fact, the market grows, and both gain business.
I am not an expert on this matter, but for more info, you should definitely check out the amazing (and short) book by Al Ries & Jack Trout – The 22 Irrefutable Laws of Marketing.
The second thing that struck me about this chart was the headline. Often in infographics, the headline is a kind of lame effort, like ‘The Rise of Foursquare’ or something similar. And the readers are left to determine what’s interesting about the graph.
But here, like any good journalist, they’ve pulled out the most surprising fact and slapped it right up front. That’s standard practice in journalism and copywriting, but something infographics and data visualisation specialists might do well to remember.
And so to graph 3…
3. The Android Effect on HTC
The main thing I love about this graph is the annotation. It’s so simple, yet the inclusion of the iconic Android logo is enough to make the point. And the way the Android is pointing upwards makes me smile too.
Simple but effective design (which is the best kind, right?!)
4. The Utter Collapse of Myspace
I was a big fan of Myspace when it first came out, and am still kind of fond of it, though I must confess I mostly only venture over there to see if my account’s still active.
What grabbed me about this visualisation is most people have heard that Myspace is plummeting, so this visualisation hardly seems like news. But I had no idea just how badly they were heading South. And this graph really drives it home.
So there you have it – 4 powerful stories told by a simple line graph.