Infographics Awesomeness Explained
How many infographics have you seen today? Or even, how many infographics have you done today?
Information graphics, of course, has been with us for many decades, if not centuries, as signs, maps, weather forecasts or even kids alphabet blocks, but in media it is relatively new, having started in the newspapers (Sunday Times in the 1970s, USA Today from the early 80s) as charticles. Here is a contemporary example: an interactive BBC’s infographics “The world at seven billion.”
Many books and articles have been written on the science and art of infographics since then, PowerPoint became a must skill in any CV, and information designer became a job with a salary. Yet, the concept of infographics hasn’t changed: it is a presentation of info/numbers/knowledge via graphics.
The philosophy of using graphics to make information easier to understand and remember goes very well with technologization of our world, and infographics is heavily used today both for business and for fun. It is so popular there are more and more Infographic Driven Website Designs. And as you already know, it is a great SEO tool, because a good infographics will give you loads of links and a lot of traffic. And this might lead to actual sales. The question is what is a good one?
We will try to answer that question with our tips and ideas which are applicable to content creation in general as well.
First of all, your infographics needs to have a purpose and target audience. You may use it as a brand recognition tool or to educate your audience, you may raise awareness with it or call for action — just don’t do it here and now because everyone else does. We have enough boring and unprofessional stuff around us.
We all love learning something new, something we’d love to share with others to show how smart we are, be it gossiping or a discovery in the world of economics. So, an infographics with interesting and relevant info will attract and engage your audience. Make an effort to research and find most recent data, go deeper than googlepedia, and double-check your facts.
Facebook may have changed our lifestyles, but it didn’t change our brain (yet). Humans still have limitations on working memory capacity (according to psychologist George A. Miller, working memory of a human can hold 7 ± 2 objects, less in my own experience, and close to 0 on Friday night). Conclusion: don’t cram too much info in one piece, who would want to scroll for more than 30 seconds anyway? And of course you know that already: maximize legibility if you want to be heard and understood. The times of Word Art are over, and PowerPoint-y designs should be left for corporate buzzword bingo. Also, avoid so called chartjunk - visual details which hinder the comprehension of information (annoyingly fancy fonts, excessive gradients and drop shadows, etc.)
Engaging infographics has more chances of getting all those likes and repins and RTs we crave for. Therefore, not only your info should be very good, but graphics too. What’s more, the information is easier to comprehend when info and graphics match. A good example would be an infographics on Pinterest in Pinterest style and fonts: a viewer/reader wouldn’t need to spend precious brain resources on “what’s this thing is about.”
And make your infographics easy to share if you want those repins.
Enjoy some infographics classics from Röyksopp (Remind Me, 2002)
Top picture credit: acquia.com