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Visualizing with Text

Alex Velez shows how you can use simple text to share information:

If you’re unsure about what I mean when I say simple text, I’m referring to the idea that just because you have numbers doesn’t mean you need to build a graph—as in this simple text example. Sometimes words with big numbers written in bold fonts (aka BANs) are more effective, especially when communicating one or two data points.

Some people’s hesitancy with simple text is that they think it’s unrealistic: the notion that you might only share one or two numbers with an audience. It’s is a fair point; it does seem a bit silly to think that you’d only talk through a couple of specific values when presenting data—even though I’m sure there are such occasions. Rather than thinking of the ideal use-case for simple text as when you only have one or two numbers in totality, consider when it may make sense to draw attention to one or two numbers in your larger story.

This is a good reminder that you don’t need everything to be fancy, shiny, and visual-laden. A little bit of text can go a long way in laying out a visual. That said, the warning is that text seems to be a little easier for people to miss, especially if there’s a lot of it. That’s where Alex’s explanation really pays off.