Transforming Statistics into Visual Stories

Wearable electronic devices are becoming part of how we manage our lives. The adidas miCoach line of activity tracking devices and coaching software is the most advanced in the world. The adidas Wearable Sports Electronics group chose Mad*Pow to produce a set of data visualizations to demonstrate the connection between mobile devices for measuring and improving athletic performance and the fast growing market for tracking general fitness and wellness.

Project highlights:

  • Industry research provided background
  • Icons and visuals created for a consistent language
  • Timeline generated to communicate the story

Building brand awareness

The Mad*Pow project team worked with adidas to gather statistics from industry sources that could tell the story. We wanted to create information graphics that would speak to the influencers who put electronic wearables on store shelves: retail buyers, industry media and self-tracking enthusiasts. The goal was a meaningful and engaging design that adidas could use and share.

Creating visual language

We began with Tracking for Health, a study published by Pew Research Center. The summary of findings began with “Seven in ten U.S. adults track a health indicator for themselves or a loved one.” Our challenge was to show the importance of these findings in a few images, with each frame conveying its own story in a clear and concise manner. Seen together, the series would highlight the most important statistics found scattered among hundreds of pages of reports.

The first step was to develop a language that could combine quantitative symbols with topic icons and figure illustration. The solution was a combination of isotype units with ring and bar graphs integrated with silhouettes.  A limited set of colors were chosen to draw the reader’s eye towards important details in each frame while maintaining a consistent association across graphics.

Building out the story

Once we had the language, the next challenge was to create the fewest slides to tell the essential parts of the story. What did adidas’ audiences want to know? We identified a few key numbers that suggested why people purchase Smart Watches today and what they want to use them for.

In a field where many startups are a few years old, adidas’ early entry and leadership in the digital fitness tracking space was a story we wanted to tell. We took ten years of miCoach product information and combined it with the more recent history of mobile health devices. The resulting timeline makes it easy to see how adidas electronic wearables have evolved over the past decade parallel to the rapid growth of the health and fitness mobile device market. The final result was a set of infographics, delivered in multiple formats, that work for illustrating presentations, news stories or blogs.

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Transforming Statistics into Visual Stories


Kristin Morales Business Development Director
Paul Kahn Experience Design Director   Contact Paul

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