The challenge for health communicators is to convey complex health information quickly, clearly, and accurately. Palladian Partners has developed a variety of ways to do that, including written text, video interviews, and infographics.
Palladian recently added a new communications product: the animated infographic. We developed animations to explain the concept of heart age and traumatic brain injury (TBI). The goal was to give our clients really engaging ways to convey complex information.
How well have they done?
Palladian posted the TBI infographic on September 24, and it landed in the top 10 of items on the client’s Facebook page. The Heart Age infographic was posted more recently, but we will watch its reception closely.
What makes animation attractive?
Movement captures our attention—even a stylized heart that is hefting a dumbbell. Both the heart age animation and the TBI animation ask us to watch and listen. We hear the music, read the text, and see the animation; it keeps us focused.
The TBI animation has both voiceover and text, making it accessible to more people. We even engaged one of our client’s scientist administrators, Dr. Valerie Maholmes, to do the voiceover. The infographic communicated statistics to illustrate how prevalent the condition is and how brain injuries happen.
There’s a storytelling aspect to the heart age animation, which uses text but no voiceover. We see how our two characters, David and Maria, are affecting their heart age—what Maria is doing right and what David can do differently. Viewers are invited to calculate their own heart age by visiting the Web address at the end of the animation. The infographic delivers a message about factors that contribute to heart health. It was shorter and was meant to drive users to the website to learn more.
These animations appear to be simple, but they take time, thought, and teamwork to create. For example, in the heart age infographic, Christina Phillips drew up the general concept in the form of a creative brief. Helen Fields wrote the script and suggested visuals. Maureen Berg did the drawings, and videographer David Arbor animated them. Kate Perch oversaw the project, and of course, our editorial staff made sure that the final product looked perfect.
Although this was a new product for Palladian, it applied many of the skills that we have long used. One of the key ingredients was the teamwork, with each member sharing his or her knowledge and applying his or her skills so that we could help our client better engage the audience and communicate life-saving information.