Last Friday, as Facebook made its debut onto the public markets, we released an interactive timeline of FB’s historical pricing, milestones and more, while traded on SecondMarket.  If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, you definitely should! 

But what goes into actually creating something like this?  We decided to get the designer’s perspective, and so we sat down with Julie Friedenberg on our design team so she could tell us about the process and development behind the “FB on SM” infographic.

SM: Walk us through the process.  How do you begin designing something like this?

JF: In the beginning, it was all about the content.  Several members of our team worked together to pull data from our platform and do research on the milestones that we wanted to showcase.  Once we had an idea of what we wanted to show, we began throwing around ideas about the best way to illustrate the data.  We came up with the idea of doing an interactive timeline that scrolled horizontally, because we knew a vertical infographic would limit the amount of information we could show. Then, I began brainstorming the actual look and feel of the infographic.  First, I decided that the background theme of the infographic would be Palo Alto, home of FB’s HQ.  Then once I finished designing the historical pricing data line, I began drawing smaller icons to illustrate the text and started adding in more spontaneous images like Barry (our CEO) or the spaceships in the background. 

SM: How did you make the infographic interactive?

JF: All of the credit for that goes to our awesome user experience guys, Jacob Koesterich and Josh Weihnacht.  They worked tirelessly with me, visualizing the data and coding the images.  They really made the infographic come alive and I could not have done it without them!

SM: Where did you draw inspiration from when you were designing the infographic?

JF: I don’t really believe in “drawing inspiration” from something.  If you’re creative it comes naturally. I find that a lot of times, I don’t have the time to wait for an “Ah Ha moment.”  Most of the time, I experiment with a bunch of different things until it evolves into something that works.

SM: What is the biggest challenge you faced while creating the timeline?

JF: I think the hardest thing for me was making the data digestible.  We had so much information that we wanted to include, so it was difficult to make sure everything was properly represented.

SM: How is this infographic different from the other projects that you have worked on at SecondMarket?

JF: This was the first interactive infographic that we have ever created.  It was great to see how excited the team was to do something challenging and different, and to have so many people from different teams collaborate to create something that truly went viral.   

SM: Is there a struggle between making something innovative and staying true to the SecondMarket brand?

JF: One of the best things about designing for SecondMarket is how open everyone is to pushing the envelope. I really enjoyed getting to design something whimsical and simultaneously data-driven but, ultimately, it sticks to our brands core style.

We’re excited to see what Julie and the rest of our design, marketing and tech teams come up with next! Please see below for some of the images Julie created while developing the infographic. 

To see the final timeline, please click here.