Serve up Survey Data with a Menu Infographic

Survey results are in. Who's ready to spend the next hour looking at poorly formatted pie charts?

During this week’s Thursday discussions over at diydatadesign we’ll be talking about different strategies for visualizing survey data.  Preparing for that call inspired this post.

The Problem

Surveys are not setup in a narrative format.  So after the results roll in and it’s time to sit down in a meeting to go over the results, you could be in for a long and boring meeting.

This is not exactly aided by the set after set of auto-generated pie charts your online survey program produces and calls a report.

But let’s step back a little.

The problem is the usual one.  We ask for all sorts of information in a survey.  Usually more than we can digest at any single point in time, not to mention that some of the data is going to take a bit of analysis before it makes sense.

The Challenge

Can we make survey data digestible and discussion ready so that we can have meaningful discussions.

I find that infographics work really well for this type of challenge.

Go ahead and print out the full auto-generated visual report from your survey program. But instead of trying to change and adapt that report, create something new.  In this way the infographic becomes a pathway between the full set of findings and the audience.

One Solution: Menu it

One way to create a fresh style of infographic is to take something visually familiar to most people that exists in a different context and apply that to your work.

Here’s an example.

Canva has a lot of food/drink menu templates.  Menus are incredibly familiar and metaphorically perfect for serving up data.

Just pick a template based on how many questions (the menu item) you want to highlight.  Write a quick little summary for each (your menu item description).  And then in place of the price, put the page number.

A breakfast menu might be perfect for quick meetings.

Example of a Canva Breakfast Menu

Or if you have a little more to go over, put it in a dinner menu.  These bigger menus also give you a way to group similar questions.

Example of a Canva Dinner Menu

Try it out and share!

If you take this approach, please share what you come up with.  You can drop a comment below or send me a tweet (@clysy).


  1. Kathleen Lynch on September 22, 2016 at 9:28 am

    What a creative approach! Thanks for these ideas, Chris!

    • Chris Lysy on September 22, 2016 at 9:36 am

      Thanks Kathleen 🙂