The 2017-2018 Infobite book is out!

Good news everyone!

We just published the second volume of our infobites, collected from the past year (2017). The book contains all 121 infobites from our data-viz instagram account @hypothesisgroup.

 Inside cover of the book. (Not all infobites shown.)

Inside cover of the book. (Not all infobites shown.)


This has been an absolutely wild year and we did our best to document it—to take a peek “under the hood” to spotlight the data behind the stories. It’s part of our goal to help readers tease apart fact from fiction using information, not just rhetoric, and align with our belief that the design of data should parallel the quality of the content.

Some of the most popular infobites are featured below.

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Our analysis showed that a majority of the infobites were about politics, naturally, as this year's news cycle was dominated by political fighting, scandals, and a record number of disputed claims. Culture and lifestyle followed, and science trailed right behind.

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Want more? Our new book is available through hypothesis only, so if you'd like to get your hands on one, let us know by sending an email to Thanks from the entire Gridspace team at Hypothesis. 



3 Questions with Kaitlyn Hutt

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Kaitlyn Hutt is an Engagement Manager at Hypothesis. We sat down to ask her about her work and life at Hypothesis. Contact her at

Q. You’ve worked on some of Hypothesis’s biggest tracking projects. What’s the secret to running a great tracker?

Kaitlyn: Flexibility and fresh perspectives. Trackers are great tools for measuring & monitoring the status of a brand or campaign, but focusing too closely on changes in a handful of metrics might lead us to overlook the real story.  When I think about tracking data I like to consider two big questions:

  1. What is the data telling us about “right now,” i.e., the current market and competitive environment?
  2. What does this mean for the future as the landscape continues to evolve and change?


Q. People love working with you. Can you give us any tips for collaboration?

Kaitlyn: Well that’s nice (smiling). We have so many smart and talented people here, I always try to keep myself in check about knowing my own strengths/limitations and knowing when I should bring in and listen to an expert.


Q. We heard you’re a runner. What’s the longest/most challenging run you’ve ever done?

Kaitlyn: My younger sister convinced me that we should run our first marathon together a few years ago. It was so hard, I thought I was ending my 14-year relationship with running for good after I crossed the finish-line…..This past Sunday I ran the LA Marathon, so obviously that didn’t stick. The runner’s high is real (smiling).



3 Simple Ways a Pilot Study Can Help Improve Your Customized Brand Tracker

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Greg Rice is the Chief Research Officer at Hypothesis. Contact him at

Even if your team has years of tracking experience, it’s nearly impossible to get a custom brand tracker perfect out of the gate. Every brand’s strategic goals are different and category landscapes are dynamic. A good tracker should be highly customized to reflect this. But if your custom survey gets any question or approach wrong during that first benchmark, it leaves you having to fix these issues during later waves. Fixing questions on-the-fly (pun intended) can kill your trendability, and opens up more opportunities for error down the line.

This is where the pilot approach comes in.  At Hypothesis, we recommend expanding your benchmark with a longer pilot survey and a larger sample size. This gives you flexibility to test approaches that you are unsure about during your first benchmark wave. With more questionnaire real estate and sample, you can solve for potential problems before they ever become issues. Such as...

1.    Tricky questionnaire wording. If you are unsure about the wording of a particular question, ask it two ways (either in a randomized order or by splitting your sample into A & B cells). This lets you examine the results of each version, keeping the most useful one for future waves.

2.    A never-ending battery of attributes. If your stakeholders want to ask an extensive list of attributes, you can ask them all in a pilot by leveraging the longer survey length. On the back-end, correlation and factor analyses can eliminate redundant attributes, so future attribute batteries can be short and tight.

3.    Uncertainty about your recruit criteria. If you are worried about crafting a survey recruit to be the right balance between relevance and size, recruit a broader audience in your pilot. But also add in more strict screening questions that you can use later. This allows you to run what-if scenarios of various recruit criteria, allowing you to form a focused, representative recruit without being too restrictive (or too expensive).

These are just some of the advantages of running a pilot. No matter how you use it, it will set your tracker up to be tighter and more relevant moving forward. If you want to learn more, let us know how we can help. (Warning: We are not actually licensed pilots.)



Activating Brand Trackers

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Jessica Tornek is the President of Momentum by Hypothesis. Contact her at

A brand tracker is like a check of your company’s vitals. It’s often the first thing a new consumer insights director either establishes, dismantles, re-invents, or pulls from an existing vendor. It’s almost always the single most expensive research initiative. It's considered critical and high-profile, yet its value is often questioned.  

Having been on the brand marketing side for years, trackers always had a special place in my office: a folder on my computer that I promised myself I'd look at later. (No really, I will one day, I promise.) The reality is that well-intentioned marketers and business owners rarely have time to translate a tracker’s insight into action. That's why I recommend an insights activation workshop as a critical component of an effective brand tracking program.

These sessions are typically either a half or full day, ideally held “off campus” and almost always include a wide variety of cross-departmental stakeholders (20-30). They can be held once a year and/or aligned with read-outs. A moderator facilitates sessions that include exercises and small group activities designed to generate creative action steps grounded in research insight.


Workshops are a relatively small-budget component of a tracker, but arguably the most important for several key reasons:

1. Workshops allow findings to be more effectively socialized. Emailing tracking highlights along with a bulleted cover note is unsurprisingly ineffective. A workshop provides a dynamic environment with a captive, cross-functional audience to ask questions and engage in a dialogue. Workshops can include large infographics, video, and other artifacts to bring results to life.



2. Workshops generate action steps (the “what now?”). Most often, tracking data provides the 30,000 ft. view, but the implications and the next steps are not obvious. A workshop effectively translates these insights into marketing and product tactics derived from the consumer voice. Participants walk away with solid ideas instead of data points.  



3. Workshops create a sense of ownership among stakeholders. Because stakeholders are part of the process, they feel a strong sense of ownership of the results specifically, and of the program in general.



4. Workshops keep the tracking program top-of-mind. Importantly, these workshops show stakeholders how to use tracking findings in their day-to-day decision making, keeping the tracking program more visible and salient. This is especially helpful when it comes to evolve the tracking program.


Activation workshops are custom-developed and facilitated by the newly launched Momentum by Hypothesis. Momentum can come in following a Hypothesis brand tracker, or even one conducted by another insights firm. If you’d like to discuss an activation workshop, please reach out. I'd also love to hear about your experiences with brand trackers, good, bad or ugly and ways you’ve successfully activated findings.



Hypothesis Gets Slimed

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7th grade guest speakers explain the slime phenomenon in a hands-on demonstration

Gretha Seltzer (who just happens to be the daughter of Managing Partner, Jeff Seltzer) along with her 7th grad colleague, Haley, led an impressive and informative interactive discussion on slime. Those of us with kids need no explanation of what slime is, but for everyone else, slime is a mixture of glue, borax, water, and optional ingredients such as food color, glitter, and other fun add-ins. The result is something that resembles silly putty, but "so next level.”

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Gretha and Haley explained in a rather elaborate but impressively brief PowerPoint presentation, the benefits of slime. According to Gretha: “slime is a fun art project that’s different every time so you never get bored.” Haley added, “you can poke it, swirl, and even sell it.” The girls told the captivated audience how kids set up Instagram accounts, trade slime recipes, post how-to videos, show-off their unique creations, and even sell slime (check out @slimeaquarius on Instagram).

Slime satisfies kids’ desire to create, share, experiment, discover, and do something more "real." As Gretha noted, “My mom likes it because it gets me off my phone!” It taps into a variety of play patterns, and combines hands-on, tangible play with social media. It allows kids to express themselves in a unique way and celebrates individuality. While talking about slime was informative, the real fun was getting down to business making slime. Gretha and Haley provided all the necessary ingredients for slime, plus plenty of add-ins and walked workshop participants through all the key steps of proper slime production:

Step 1: Prepare the activator (borax and warm water)

Step 2: Pour glue into a bowl

Step 3: Color your slime

Step 4: Make it yours (glitter, shaving cream, hand lotion)

Step 5: Add activator to glue bowl until proper consistency

Step 6: Name it!

Step 7: Play!

Thanks to Gretha and Haley for such a well buttoned-up presentation and workshop. Daddy was super proud, and Hypothesis staff got to feel like kids again for an hour. And, with all the kids and family work that Hypothesis does, it was great insight into an incredible trend. Plus, we now have slime to play with during intense client calls.




A Look Back at 2016 Through Infobites

 Working out the right visualization taking research, ideation, and experimentation.

Working out the right visualization taking research, ideation, and experimentation.

Edahn Small is the Creative Director at Hypothesis. Contact Edahn Small at

We finally made it to the end of 2016! Many of us are relieved to see 2016 go, a year filled with tragedy, celebrity deaths, and political turmoil. Throughout the year, our design team, Gridspace, has been tracking the pivotal events of 2016. From the environment, to politics, to economics, we dug into the data to demystify some of the controversies that dominated this year's news cycles while still serving up our signature design.

Our efforts paid off. This year we won our first design award through HOW Magazine for our dataviz work and we have plans in 2017 to give talks through AIGA about infobites and how to make data visualization fun, engaging, and consumable.

With nearly 130 posts in 2016, we wondered what posts grabbed the most attention, what topics predominated, what goes into the perfect infobite, and what goes into the worst infobite. After a couple days of data gathering and analysis, we made some interesting discoveries.




Looking back at our infobites tells us a lot about what this year was about, and without a doubt, the election dominated. About a quarter of all our posts this year were political, which is understandable given how polarizing this election was. National Days, such as National Camera Day, National Pancake Day, and even National Maritime Day (who knew?) were the second most popular topic. And sports, covering the controversial 2016 Olympics and some notable retirements, came in a close third. The most popular visualization type was a bar/column chart, and roughly one out of 10 posts features completely novel visualizations which we labeled "unique." Roughly a third of our posts this year were lightehearted (but informative!) which stayed true to our vision of creating an account that was both illuminating and entertaining. 

When it comes to our aesthetic preferences, it seems like blacks, neutrals, and blues are our preferred colors of choice. No one likes yellow, apparently.


Our posts this year averaged a cool 20 likes. We nearly tripled our followers to 293, for which we say thanks to all our devoted followers! Now start commenting!


We analyzed each attribute to determine which color, topic, and visualization type were the most liked by our followers. This led to a formula for the most successful and unsuccessful posts. Unsurprisingly, unique visualizations and snail charts were the most liked, and famous quotes and tragedy were the topics that were most appreciated. No more pink bubble charts about education, it seems.

Featured below are our most-liked posts of 2016, from left to right.


I'd like to close off with a big thank you to all our amazing designers who poured their time into researching, refining, and designing the posts that light up our instagram account every week. Our instagram account is a personal source of pride for me, not just because of its uniqueness and novelty, but because educating and exciting people is what we do every day with our reports, and we've done that with our audience in a novel, fresh, and stylish way that is intrinsic to the Hypothesis ethos.




Finally, we're excited to announce that you can now order a booklet of all our award-winning infobites from 2016. Contact Edahn Small at for details.


Happy holidays and cheers to more great work in 2017!



3 Tips for Communicating With Impact from our Workshop


Abilia Barraza is the Human Resources Director at Hypothesis. Contact her at

One of the distinguishing aspects of Hypothesis is how collaboratively we work together. When you have multiple departments (design, analytics, and project managers) housed under one roof, clear and respectful communication is critical. But it isn’t always easy. All of us regardless of industry have faced some challenges, whether communicating too softly, too harshly, or simply ineffectively. Those challenges extend beyond internal communications and include communications with clients and even with prospects.

For that reason, Hypothesis invited Emily Donahoe from Talk Shop to lead a workshop entitled “Communicating with Impact.” Emily has developed skills for executive presence, efficient messaging, and charismatic communication. Her clients have included, the Estée Lauder Companies, Saatchi & Saatchi, Goldman Sachs, Willis Towers Watson, Team One Advertising, the Women’s Campaign School of Yale University, Farmers Insurance and more. She’s also had clients appear on NBC’s The Today Show, BBC’s The World, NPR’s Talk of the Nation and much more. The workshop was offered as part of our ongoing professional development program that’s available to all our employees.

The training, which spanned 2 days in total, focused on building communication and presentation skills through live exposure. Each of us got up in front of the group to present a tricky situation encountered at work. Over the course of the workshop, Emily coached us on the best practices for communicating effectively and confidently. By the end of the workshop, not only did everyone feel more comfortable presenting to the group, but their points were more succinct and more impactful. Some of the key takeaways from the workshop were how to sound like an expert, the keys to charisma, and how to deal with difficult questions you may not know the answers to.


How to Sound Like an Expert

Credibility is the cornerstone of all effective communication. If clients don’t trust you, your presentation and everything you say will be questioned or even dismissed. One of the biggest mistakes we make when communicating is over-communicating. We tend to think that being exhaustive and covering every angle will demonstrate our competence and expertise, but the exact opposite is true: experts create a few important pre-planned points using the fewest words necessary. Emily did a great job of forcing us to trim our points and even our sentences into the most essential parts only. The difference in quality and credibility was immediately obvious.


The Keys to Charisma

Emily broke down the science of charisma into its components and had us practice different techniques to help build charisma like adding color to our messages through story, rhetoric, humor, and warmth. These techniques, when combined with credibility, not only made our communication more persuasive, but it made it more memorable as well.


Dealing with Difficult Questions

You’re in the middle of a high-stakes presentation and someone from the back asks you a really, really difficult question. Maybe it’s a hyper-technical question about a footnote in a whitepaper in a link in an email that’s still sitting in your inbox, or maybe it’s a question that’s so thoughtful and deep it made you question everything you knew to be true about consumer psychology. Whatever the nature of the question, we’ve all faced—or all will face—this situation at some point.

While we might be tempted to fake our way into an answer to maintain credibility, Emily said that the opposite is true. The best way to deal with difficult questions is by crediting the question and admitting you don’t know the answer, writing it down, and promising an answer within 24 hours. Paradoxically, admitting you don’t know something bolsters your credibility by showing that you’re not afraid to admit what you don’t know.


Armed with those tips and others, we're off to present and persuade! For more details about attending a Communicating with Impact workshop, please contact us. Thanks to Emily Donahoe for the amazing 2 day training session.


Stakeholder Ideation: Bridging Insights and Action


Stakeholder Ideation: Bridging Insights and Action


Jeff Seltzer is the Managing Partner at Hypothesis. Contact him at

 Often, we'll include a relatively simple (but important) "homework" assignment for Ideation participants. This encourages participation, facilitates discussion, and helps level-set. In this case, participants each brought in an artifact to represent relevant consumer segments. 

Often, we'll include a relatively simple (but important) "homework" assignment for Ideation participants. This encourages participation, facilitates discussion, and helps level-set. In this case, participants each brought in an artifact to represent relevant consumer segments. 

Too often, market research is conducted, summarized, and then sits on a shelf. On the other hand, forward looking companies understand how to use consumer insights to inform decision making and move the needle. But, that process of creating momentum internally can be challenging. Cross-functional stakeholder ideation work-sessions can help.

In fact, I’m just back from Minneapolis, having conducted a great half-day ideation with 18 client-stakeholders. Like the most successful work-sessions, this one was held “off-campus” to help detach the participants from the typical work-related distractions, and help everyone to focus on the task at hand: bridging consumer insights and actionable concepts, strategies, and tactics. The session is grounded in consumer insights (we call them “Consumer Truths”) and participants are guided through a series of brainstorming exercises, group presentations, and voting to build, develop, and articulate new ideas. In this most recent case, participants created some really great in-aisle innovations that I’m sure you’ll be seeing relatively soon.

 Sometimes, creativity means getting your hands a little dirty! 

Sometimes, creativity means getting your hands a little dirty! 

Interestingly, Hypothesis has conducted more ideations work-sessions this year than in the last several years combined including clients in the retail, technology, and entertainment. In each case, the Ideation session was done due to an understanding that for highly strategic projects, you cannot solely rely on the consumer voice for solutions. Indeed, the consumer can talk to you about problems and needs, but actual solutions are often beyond what’s reasonable to expect from consumers. Even if consumers can come up with solutions, they don’t necessarily consider important aspects like brand fit, alignment with business goals, or even what’s realistic. Marketing, Product Development, Finance, and Product Managers – they have the expertise to come up with solutions, but they should be based on the consumer voice. That’s what these ideations sessions are designed to do: develop new ideas grounded in consumer insights.

 Ideation involves building on other's ideas. Here, one group evaluates another group's initial thinking before expanding on the concept with more details. 

Ideation involves building on other's ideas. Here, one group evaluates another group's initial thinking before expanding on the concept with more details. 

 A key ground rule is "quantity over quality." At least, that's true in the beginning. But, at some point, you need to identify that best ideas to build upon. 

A key ground rule is "quantity over quality." At least, that's true in the beginning. But, at some point, you need to identify that best ideas to build upon. 

These sessions also provide other less tangible benefits, such as creating a sense of ownership among stakeholders for the research, and the ideas generated in the session. There’s also a strong sense of pride of accomplishment as participants work together through the process of creating new ideas. Besides that, it’s a fun and a rare chance for people to work together who don’t ordinarily work together (in fact, the best sessions often include people who you wouldn’t normally consider including, like a creative intern or smart administrative assistant). Lastly, it’s a chance to really let CI Team shine – participants are grateful and often leave with a new found appreciation for the hard work of consumer insights

I'd love to hear about your experiences with Ideation (good or bad). Or, let me know if you'd like more detail on our approach. Look forward to hearing from you. 




Ask Dr. Ferreira: Derived Importance

Mauricio Ferreira leads the Advanced Marketing Sciences group at Hypothesis (the BrainTrust). Contact him at

Just the other day, discussing a plan with a client, the topic of a Derived Importance came up. The discussion made me realize that despite being a widely used technique in marketing research, derived importance is often misunderstood, especially the interpretation of its results. Here are answers to 3 of  the most frequently asked questions about derived importance we receive from clients.

"What is a Derived Importance analysis?"

Derived importance is essentially a statistical method used to understand what “drives” a variable of interest. For example, we may use it to understand what elements of a message drives interest in an ad or what service features can lead to satisfaction. The analysis helps marketers know what to prioritize and emphasize in product development, service improvements, or messaging.

The term "derived" means that the importance is extracted from the statistical relationships between metrics rather than by asking consumers directly. The derived measure of importance represents the partial contribution each driver makes in explaining or predicting the outcome.


"Why do we derive and not just ask people?"

We may be tempted to simply ask consumers directly what is important to them, but this approach often produces undifferentiated results. That's because respondents say everything is important (e.g., price is very important, quality is very important, etc.). Another problem is that consumers may place high importance on “price-of-entry” variables which is not useful when interpreting results. For example, not crashing is obviously very important for air travelers, but it’s probably not a useful marketing message for an airliner. Also, respondents might feel socially compelled to cite certain variables as important (e.g., safety) and others as less important (e.g., brand image), but we know that in reality, brand image might be a bigger determinant of choice in certain categories, like automobiles.

"Why isn't 24-hour customer service at the top of Derived Importance?"

Sometimes, a variable that seems like it should be important, comes out low on the results of a Derived Importance analysis. “How could this be? Are you saying 24-Hour Customer Service is not important? But, our customers always mention this in focus groups!”

That’s part of the power of a derived importance analysis. It’s not about identifying important variables per se, but rather variables that will move the needle. For example, 24-hour customer service may be important to consumers, but if all relevant brands offer it, then all brands would score high on it. In such a case, there will be no variation in responses between the attribute and outcome, and 24 hour customer service would actually fall low on the Derived Importance analysis – as it should, because emphasizing something that everyone does will not differentiate your brand.

(As a cautionary note, when we find an attribute rated low on the Derived Importance analysis, it doesn’t mean that it should be overlooked. It’s still important for an airliner to not crash!)

If you have more questions about a Derived Importance analysis, feel free to contact me directly at Also, if you have a question on another topic, please let me know! 


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3 New Product Must Haves: Learning from Apple Watch'S SHORTCOMINGS

JEFF SELTZER is the Managing Partner at Hypothesis. Contact Jeff at

Earlier this year, I asked Ke, the newest (and easily the most fashionable) member of BrainTrust, about her Apple Watch: “So, how do you like it?” She responded lukewarmly, “It’s kind of, well, dumb.” That’s interesting. I noticed that no one else in the office had one – and this is an office full of early adopters and folks who love wearable tech (lots of Fitbits, for example). Then, I saw this article forecasting sluggish Apple Watch sales in 2016.

When considering the hundreds of new concepts Hypothesis has evaluated over the past 15 years, I’ve found that the most successful ones do at least one of these three things well:

  1. Solve a problem without creating new ones;
  2. Significantly improve upon what’s already available;
  3. Create a strong emotional connection–stronger than reason.

If a new product/service can’t do one of these three things from a consumer point of view, success will likely be elusive. In fact, I would argue that the Apple Watch fails on all three.


 The Amazon Kindle truly solved a problem, but the Apple Watch? Not so much. Make sure your new product or idea actually solves for something. 

The Amazon Kindle truly solved a problem, but the Apple Watch? Not so much. Make sure your new product or idea actually solves for something. 

1.       Does the Apple Watch Solve a Problem for the consumer? No. 

The best new products and services do something seemingly obvious: they solve a consumer-perceived problem. They do so in an elegant, user-friendly, harmonious way.

The original iPod is a great example. Before the iPod, there was no way to easily take all your music with you. The same goes for Kindle and books. TiVo, GPS, – all solve a problem in a beautiful way without introducing new ones. But, the Apple Watch fails to significantly help consumers get over a barrier: you are still tethered to your phone, most of the health functions are available from companies that do it better, and the small screen of the Apple Watch arguably creates more problems. If the Apple Watch solves something, please let me know because I don’t see it.

(And, yes, I know, sometimes customers don’t even know they even have a problem in the first place. Apple’s Steve Jobs allegedly proclaimed, “We don’t do market research. Our goal is to design, develop, and bring to market good products… and we trust, as a consequence that people will like them.” Interestingly, on LinkedIn, a search within the Company “Apple” and Title “market research” turn up 500+ people.)

 The DSLR dramatically improved our ability to take beautiful photos. It made cameras easier and better, and more accessible. Does the Apple Watch make something better? 

The DSLR dramatically improved our ability to take beautiful photos. It made cameras easier and better, and more accessible. Does the Apple Watch make something better? 

2.       Does the Apple Watch dramatically improve upon something already available? No. 

Not just incremental improvement but dramatic improvement. Reimagining something that’s been taken for granted, sometimes to the point of disruption.

An obvious example is Uber, which dramatically improved on the traditional taxi. The digital camera, LED lighting, Sonos Speakers, and Keurig coffee makers also qualify; they all took something we were used to, and dramatically improved upon its quality, convenience, and functionality. But, what about the Apple Watch? Is it a better than a real watch around the same price? A real watch is more convenient (doesn’t require charging), water proof, holds its value and sometimes appreciates, won’t become obsolete with a version 2.0, has no learning curve, comes “bug free,” and the only updates it ever needs is the occasional new battery. The design of a traditional watch is already beautiful and functional as it gives you the information you need quickly. The simplicity of the design is what makes it so sophisticated. The Apple Watch makes no meaningful improvements on the traditional watch and there’s no evidence watches even need improvement.  (Maybe it's not supposed to be compared to a real watch, but then don't call it a watch!)

3.       Does the Apple Watch create a strong emotional/visceral reaction beyond reason? No, not really. Not enough. 

This is perhaps the trickiest of the three criteria. Some products don’t necessarily solve a problem or dramatically improve on an existing idea, but rather connect with you in a way that says, “I’ve got to have it. I don’t care why!” I remember listing all the reasons I didn’t need my new Fuji Xpro2 digital rangefinder. In fact, the only thing in the plus column was, “I want it.” And, now I have it, and I'm happy. Luxury brands have the same kind of pull: Prada, Channel, Louis Vuitton, etc. 

Although many Apple products generate strong visceral connections, with fanboys lining up for the latest and greatest, this kind of reaction Apple Watch seemed limited in comparison, and short-lived. Perhaps that's because watches themselves are often purchased for personal, emotional reasons to begin with. In fact, some products are appealing simply because they are unique, and I would put watches in that category. For example, my colleague wears a vintage Rolex from her grandfather, not because it keeps better time, but because it's a unique conversation piece with sentimental value.  Indeed, a watch tells a short, personal story about who we are as in individual and, for that reason, I maintain that having the same watch as everyone else is quite unappealing. Regardless, the Apple Watch failed to clearly be an object of desire beyond reason. 

 Not everyone has a Swiss Made Adriatica Watch. Google "Unique watches" and see how many things come up. Apple tried to offer ways to customize/personalize the Apple Watch, but that made little difference. 

Not everyone has a Swiss Made Adriatica Watch. Google "Unique watches" and see how many things come up. Apple tried to offer ways to customize/personalize the Apple Watch, but that made little difference. 


The Final Word. 

If your company is considering a new product or service, make sure that from a consumer standpoint it solves a problem, dramatically improves upon an existing idea, and/or creates a strong emotional/visceral pull. The only way to do that is to invite the consumer to the discussion as you develop your concept.  Otherwise you run the risk of creating something that no one needs, or wants.

Can you think of any services or products that don't meet one of the 3 requirements? How about other examples of products that have failed all 3? Leave a comment below.

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A Guide to Creating Beautiful Infographics


EDAHN SMALL is the Creative Director at Hypothesis. Contact Edahn at

Infographics have become a buzzword in research and information design circles. It seems like everyone's building them to help summarize information, and online tools are making it easier for non-designers to create their own infographics.

But as making infographics gets easier, maintaining their quality gets harder. I see lots of graphics that mean well but ultimately don't do justice to the information and look amateur. Part of the problem is in design mechanics like typography, layout, and color. The other part of the problem is more intellectual (or some might even say emotional)--dumping too many data points into an infographics either out of habit, out of fear, or sometimes just out of laziness. As we've said in previous blog posts, it takes more work to simplify things that to make them complex.

The tips below are meant to be easy rules-of-thumb to design better infographics. They're purposefully simplified to make them easy to follow, with tips like:. 

  • Use a Consistent Voice Throughout the Infographic
  • Don't Waste the Space You Have
  • Use Color to Draw Attention Purposefully

Each tip is accompanied by an illustrative infographic, because what better way to learn how to make great infographics that to look at great infographics! You can download a PDF version of the deck from here which has hyperlinks to all the individual infographics. If you're looking for even more information, check out my previous post on the Principles of Great Infographic Design.

In the end of the day, it takes talented designers and illustrators to make infographics really sizzle--infographics that you want to keep with you and reference over and over. That's when the real payoff happens. Contact us and let's discuss your next great infographic. 





Hypothesis Infographic: Go Green to Breathe Clean

Indoor pollutants are found in the office and at home. They can cause a wide variety of serious respiratory and central nervous system problems. What to do? Plants have the answer with natural pollutant-fighting power. Which plants work the best to remove pollutants, and which pollutants are the most dangerous? Infographic research and design by Hypothesis.

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