5 Steps to Building a Phenomenal HTML5 Infographic

What’s the case for HTML5?

Even if native frameworks are far more prevalent, we’d argue that the evolving digital landscape – or more specifically, the demand for a strictly standards-based Internet – will render anything that doesn’t work with developers (rather than against them) obsolete. That’s our case for HTML5.

Compelling content is easily and robustly developed, and it has the remarkable potential to create cross-platform apps or media with a mark-up that very simply, lends itself to an enriched user experience. It’s great news for all site owners keen on driving unique traffic or creating “stickier” users (and who doesn’t want that?)


Who’s used it for infographics?

In recent months, we’ve seen an upturn in the volume of HTML5 infographics being produced by organisations with bigger pockets (it’s not yet in the purview of smaller sites and independent bloggers due to development times, and its relative novelty). And still, what we’re seeing in terms of quality and volume is pretty incredible.

We’ve outline five steps to helping you to avoid some of the key pitfalls in devising and deploying your own project, so you can build your own phenomenal HTML5 infographic.


1.   Tell a story.

The first step (or the sketching-doodles-on-napkins phase) involves conceptualising your infographic. The most successful infographics are just devices to tell a story.

Think about what you’d like it to accomplish: are you trying to inform the user, like this infographic that takes you through the hydraulic fracturing process? Do you want to persuade your user to take action, like this imaginative slavery footprint infographic? Or is it simply designed to inspire emotion? How can you communicate your concept as a narrative?

One of the most effective examples we’ve seen is the Life of Julia, an infographic which takes you stepwise, through the life of a fictional character to emphasise the positive impact of Obama’s policies for women (it was deployed by the Obama election campaign team).


2.    Do your research.

It sounds relatively simple and perhaps even too basic to deserve a mention, but there are a few self-appointed infographic sentinels in cyberspace that would like nothing more than to tear your message to shreds. If you’re attempting an infographic that will make use of statistics to further an argument (especially a social or political one), consider this step doubly important.

Make sure you’re communicating the facts, and your infographic suddenly has more credibility (and potentially more links from reputable sources that appreciate your handiwork).


3.    Sketch out a visually stunning design.

Whether you’re working in 2D (read Adobe Illustrator infographics of old) or developing interactive content for an HTML5 infographic, design is an element that is undoubtedly front-and-centre. If you want users to share your content and generate links, expect to invest a good 70% of your total infographic development time on creating work that is easily differentiated from standard fare.

When switching to HTML5, there’s one singularly important consideration: you’re not working with the narrow infographic that requires a user to scroll hopelessly down into an infinite pixelated abyss of useless information; make use of the space to work with the screen in an interesting new way. Mirroring the two-dimensional format isn’t so effective.


4.    Cherry-pick your favourite HTML5 animation tools.

Once you’ve familiarised yourself with the documentation behind HTML5 (it’s important to use the mark-up efficiently, and draw on HTML5’s niftier features), try your hand at implementing them using an animation tool.

These tools are designed for intermediate to advanced HTML5 developers (but can even be tinkered with effectively by novices, although we don’t recommend it without a bit of background first). Here’s two we quite like:

Adobe Edge (Mac/PC): The beta version is free.

Edge is an intuitive development environment that integrates a timeline with drag-and-drop, which allows users to compose each animation “frame.”

Tumult Hype (Mac): It’s a bit pricier at approximately $50

It boasts the same keyframe animation system as Edge, but it’s packed with additional features to customise your final product. Did we mention it’ll always be cross-browser compatible? Creates fully-responsive content? Or that it’s essentially a WYSIWYG editor?


5.    Deploy and optimise!

Once you’re finished, click upload, optimise your CSS and take some browser snaps to ensure compatibility across the board (except for IE6, because really, who cares? And also it won’t work anyway). Pour yourself a hot espresso, snap your biscotti, sit back and take a measure of pride in becoming one of the pioneering developers to fully harness the power of HTML5 for phenomenal infographics.


Your turn: Think HTML5 has been overhyped without any regard for its (lack of) compatibility? Will you be using some of our tips in your own project? Let us know what you think — we’d like to hear from you.

Twitter page

Top 10 Influential PR Tweeters You Should Follow Now

There are so many people on twitter now which something to say and a point to make, which makes it difficult to know who to follow. You want people who will add you your knowledge and provide you with handy insights and great content, so look no further than our top influential PR tweeters.

@Brian Solis  128, 796 Followers

Principal analyst at Altimeter Group, Brian Solis is well and truly in the know about all things new media ranging from social influence to the effect of new media on future marketing, business and culture. Solis has made it on to our top PR people to follow for his posts on the convergence of Pr in the new media age that are well worth a read. In the digital industry PR does not stand alone and this is what Solis has captured. Keep up with his feed for all new media age updates and stay in the know.

@prsarahevans  73, 186 Followers

Sarah is the owner of Sevans Strategy a new media and public relations consultancy as well as creating and moderating #journchat, the first ever live tweet chat for journalists. Entrepreneurs top hot start ups and one of Forbes 14 power women to follow on twitter Sarah is one tweeter not to miss. Expect simple and informative tweets that have to clicking almost every time and smiley replies.

@prblog  (Kevin Dugan) 21,356 Followers

The man behind the bad pitch blog and Strategic Public Relations blogs which intelligently critique the happenings in the strategic marketing world. Self professed sharer, doer and learning social marketer, Kevins twitter feed is the place to be for reviews on the latest PR campaigns. If having 21,365 followers to date is not enough to get your attention then I don’t know what it.

@DaveFleet 15, 929 Followers

Vice President at Edleman Digital in Toronto Dave Fleet is a tweeter not to be missed. There is always an interesting discussion going on whether it be PR related or not. Dave’s twitter handle reads ‘blogger; running nut; bookworm; gamer; Brit-nadian’ which doesn’t do justice to his detailed knowledge of social media, communication and PR. 15,00 plus followers agree.

@stedavies 5,495 Followers

PR Week have already named Stephen Davies as being the the top 1% of the PR powerful and inspirational which is a reason in itself to follow this guy. Frequent speaker at PR conference events, Stephens CV reads a list of established UK and foreign press and is now a consultant at 33 Digital. What to expect, a mix of personable photo tweets alongside some great PR insights.

Stephen was even kind enough to tweet me a reason to follow him, ‘For general rants, links and friendliness. :)

@BenCotton 4,298 Followers

Ben Cotton earned his place at Edleman from his blog Social Web thing, and flourished from Leeds metropolitan Student to Edleman PR professional. His blog is impressive in itself with awards like the European award at Euprera Spring Symposium as well as nominations for the Some Comms and CRAPPs. Not only does Bens twitter feed offer interesting social business, search and employability, he also in to his food and drink so expect some tips offs there too.

Ben says his followers can expect ‘links to posts on Social Business, Employability, Search, Content, Great Food & Drink + QPR’. What more could you ask for?

@LisaHoffmann 11, 273 Followers

The blogger at Corporate Commotion Lisa Hoffmann uses her blog to express her personal thoughts and ideas about the industry but spends her work days at Duke Energy as a social media specialist. Lisa firmly believes that the world of communication is constantly changing and that social media can be utilize, representing more than just a commercial risk. Follow Lisa and enjoy relaxed chatty conversations where work life meets persona life.
Those were our top ten, although we could easily have rolled out another ten. So if you have tweeters to add to the list let us know who they are and why we should follow them too.