Research Presentation Design

The Economist Intelligence Unit

Meet the client.

Economist Impact (formerl the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)) is the division of The Economist Group that provides data, research and analysis on a range of industries and topics of global significance. Its team of economists, industry specialists, policy analysts and consultants work with clients in the financial and corporate sectors as well as with academic and governmental institutions.

Our challenge.

The IoT is the quirky phrase that describes how networks of internet-connected objects collect and exchange information. The EIU launched a programme of research, sponsored by ForgeRock, that looked into concerns among consumers about data privacy and security that had arisen around this connectivity in the functions of daily life.

Surveying over 1,500 consumers in eight countries around the world, the report found there were misgivings about personal information being stolen or used fraudulently and about how data might be used to build “profiles” on individuals to gain an insight into their behaviour as consumers.

Our role in this fascinating project was produce material setting out the findings of the report for a wide range of audiences; these included the original white paper, an infographic and a research presentation design.  

Our approach.

It is an irony of information design that the much-maligned bar chart is often the most efficient way to make comparisons between data across several categories. At NWC Design, we love their functional simplicity and we decided they would be the best way to achieve what we wanted the research presentation design to do; maximise understanding of data and minimise the amount of time taken.

But a bar chart is still a bar chart and, as they were appearing on consecutive slides, we designed them in an interesting and unique way – but still within EIU brand style – so that the audience stayed engaged throughout the presentation.

We took the styling from the whitepaper and infographic we’d produced earlier in the programme and replicated it for the presentation data. We used icons and visuals within the bars, adopted a bright and engaging colour palette and varied the orientation and format of the bar charts as much as possible without impacting on consistency.

In short, we followed best practice information design to ensure the materials we produced were not a statement of style over substance. We also used highlights and call-out facts to bring the charts to life and help direct the viewer faster to the key messages within the data.

Our work.

The whole project comprised of:

The impact.

The EIU have been coming to us for the past five years with a whole range of research presentation design demands that often required a complex response. We like that. But with this project we showed it was possible to create an engaging and smart presentation with standard chart types that works, and the client thought so too.

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