Even if information is highly out of ordinary and attention-grabbing, if your content contains lengthy plain text without illustration or images whatsoever, the entire page becomes dull and unimaginative. To sort this out, infographics help in routing information in a creative manner and in a style making your information easier to understand.
In a nutshell, infographics are visual representations involving data with applied design and style aspects to display written content. In forms of images plus text, some charts and other friendly resources, they extend the content of articles, usually of statistical data, and increase familiarity of readers in a way that elevates their comprehension. In this article, we will tackle how you can design effective infographics for your blog.
Infographics raise awareness whereby people can relate and understand the subject matter better. As attention span of the average user is increasing, it’s important then to limit the scope of information and draw boundaries to win the focus of their eyes. The display on the graphics should create much more imagination. Ask guide questions when creating an infographic.
Stick to one problem and solution that you want the graphic to address. For instance, if you want to talk about the results of polling in politics, you can the winning and losing percentages, and some relevant images (and captions) of candidates pertinent to the main concern.
In parallel to the first item above, there should be a good flow in the information you’re trying to show and process. Nothing goes into effect without a cause; therefore, in any information flow, cause and effect relationships must be present and highlighted significantly. To check whether these relationships in your infographics are accurately done, position yourself as a layperson who does not know anything about the message and facts you’re conveying.
Put together words, icons, charts and images with arrows and lines in a playful style to make something even a child could understand. Engage readers from start to finish by grouping related data by flowcharting to simplify the process and connect thoughts. If the topic is about economic recession, arrange the sequence of events leading to the industry slowdown with the different stakeholders involved (e.g. countries, organizations and other groups) and construct a good visual journey for their comprehension and entertainment as well.
Selecting colors is an important aspect of graphic design. Color is the most effective tool to guide authors and influence their readers. It pulls you into continuing to read whatever is presented. When used properly, the color motif may be the yardstick of the success in making the information more readable by giving the readers a variety of impressions, both conceptually and emotionally.
One good pointer is to have excellent contrast: the textual content should blend well with the background, design and other illustrations. Colors can also determine the hierarchy and concept of details. Assign colors and designate each one to its consequential use; do not blandly scatter them all over the place without tying to one thought.
Design is not just about colors; it is also widely about typography, as infographics consist of both text and images. Choose the right font face and size for your text.
Keep in mind that infographics should not look plainly like an excerpt of some serious news article in a newspaper. Rather, the design should be creative but not so wacky that it looks misleading. Just aim for the proper.
If your content is all great but design and images used are just the opposite, it is not worth doing infographics. For infographics to work well, it should have a great appeal toward the audience. Try different combinations of illustrations, images, graphics, diagrams, logos and icons. The effectiveness of the complete graphics will depend entirely on your creativity as a designer.
Also make the sizes just appropriate in proportion to the size of the infographics and consider applying the right scale for emphasis (e.g. bigger pictures may be signs that the items bring more impact and meaning). In any case, make sure that all the images you use are of high resolution.
Be responsible for the information found in your presentation. It should contain accurate and timely data. As infographics may lead readers to the wrong conclusion due to lack of verifiable information and misinterpretation of resources, it’s a good rule of thumb to always cite your sources of data and their relevant links and follow through providing captions. Allow visitors to explore the details if they wish.
Giving credit to sources also gives you an opportunity to contact the authors and webmasters behind and inform them that their work has been acknowledged, used and mentioned. There’s also greater probability that these influential sources link and share your infographic to their work which may later on give your poster an initial boost in sharing and traffic terms.
How do we ensure that the graphics effectively deliver complete information and knowledge to the public? Simplicity is the best policy. Ensure that the information transmitted is well arranged, organized and structured. Visual simplicity ensures that the charts, graphs and other representations will be easy for readers to understand.
Percentages can most of the time be represented with creative pie charts; mathematical principles in a set can usually be turned into a unique bar graph; and when numbers don’t fit on a scale, you might be able to place them in a visual diagrams.
Computer graphics should be simple, clean, clear and concise. Also, there should be consistency in the overall design. Every aspect should flow and make sense together.
Research and dig deep to find the most powerful and compelling facts to include in your design. How interesting is “interesting?” It should get viewers exclaim and say “What? I did not know that!” and make a mark that is so unforgettable that it urges a discussion among the members of a forum or some community.
For your infographic to be successful, it should be geared to a specific audience. Only when the shift of focus is known and precise can it be effective in communication. You should create the infographic with a concept that should suit the reader, as infographics can be made with different forms and topics (e.g. sports, food, modern science, financial, political, etc.) and relayed with different emotions and responses (e.g. humor, fear, shock, pity).
Infographics are cool cheat sheets of certain topics. Normally, these topics contain sections that people delve in. If you have an infographic that look like a messy page of a scrapbook, make sure that every section has its respective catchy title or description that can better explain what the following images or facts are about to deliver.
Just like in any book, magazine or web content, readers may feel confused or bored when they are overwhelmed with piles of colors and items put together wholly so define each one with a headline to clearly mark the main idea.
As much as audience should be exact, there should be a definite purpose in creating and showcasing an infographic. The purpose is the element used to provide direction for all objects to be placed inside the graphics.
Ask why you need to create the infographic in the first place before visualizing how you’re beautifully going to display data. After doing much research to back up your established facts, identify your point of conclusion as well. Condense and decide how you’re presenting it, and have the confidence to deduct to a single-sentence message tackling on what you want to really impart with your poster.
An infographic crowded with much images and text would still look presentable and understandable if the use of space is proportioned well. Usually, the more points of data you can clearly show in such small space, the better. Best examples of infographics shown on the net compile large amounts of data into a story that gives the viewer deeper levels of understanding. Maximize the space you have to fill that density of data; large white spaces don’t look good.
In this part, we give you some examples of infographics and we’d determine if they are effective in sharing their message as they should:
This visual is trying to show the history of Apple and reveal the record of Apple’s computer systems from the beginning of the organization in 1983 to the present. Its intended viewers may not also be specific to technical and smart people but also those who are interested in knowing the records of how Apple came to be such a giant company in the present. The graph used time (devices made from 1983 – 2011), category (how it uses different colors to represent different types of devices) and hierarchy (how some categories take up more space and are larger than others). Generally speaking, the visual reveals that Apple organization has had quite a few different computer systems over the years and is effective in making this statement. Segmentation of facts is done well with the many colors on the background.
The data present in this visual is associated to the various types of geeks in the world, where they originate and circulate, so to speak. The infographic’s objective, as its name indicates, is to demonstrate the development of how geeks progressed. It used a time flow chart to demonstrate the progression and categorization. Each geek is showed by a different symbol and is characterized by a cute cartoon. This visual definitely attracts interest, however, it does not do much else. On the other hand, aesthetics wise, it’s still eye-catching and effective as it provides details in a concise and clear way without beating around the bush.
This infographic provides interesting information about the 2010 World Cup tournaments mostly through graphs. Its potential target viewers are those people interested in the World Cup. As we view the graphic, we learn the broad statement here that there were 32 countries that competed and that Brazil has won the most World Cups. A lot shown in the infographic are composed of common information and facts, and this is okay. However, design opportunities are lost somehow in the sense that heavier images could have been incorporated (e.g. designs or themes inspired by sports like the field shape, goal netting, crowd ethnicity, soccer ball). Still, it’s an effective infographic with good numbers, giving a quick overview at how big the FIFA World Cup games really are.
This infographic was made by TermLifeInsurance.org, a non-profitable organization, to explain to everyone why we should stop drinking bottled water. It has followed most of the suggestions above. For one, the title is clear and catchy on its message. Secondly, it has listed the sources at the bottom of the graphic. Third, it had a mix of basic colors neat to the eyes: red, black and white, making the text easy to read. Fourth, the font face used matches the design. As for the drawbacks, there are no axis labels on the pie and bar charts. This may leave the viewer wondering how to match the values or percentages to the actual meaning. Moreover, there are lots of spaces not maximized in the infographic, where it should have contained more forms of graphs. Instead, the images that do not present anything of greater meaning (e.g. the water bottle) occupied much space. On other view, this graphic would most likely draw anyone’s attention as it captures our day-to-day living; almost every living person drinks bottled water. With interesting facts sectioned properly, this one is still counted as effective.
This infographic seems to be not an infographic at all, as it failed to show information visually. The tweets per second should have been displayed through a bar graph or bar chart. By seeing the heights of the bars, readers would quickly gauge the measure in differences of the tweets per second and event without reading the textual content. With this image above, readers might not grasp the comparisons. To aid as a solution, a suggestion is while creating an infographic, put all the text in one layer and hide this layer to check if all other elements are still making sense. If yes, then you’re successful at that. Otherwise, you’re like doing too much telling and not enough showing. Texts are only to support what is presented and should not be the “main stars” in the scene.
Infographics are graphics used to provoke thoughts, align more understanding to the article base, entertain or market or sell products and ideas, and inspire when done right. But having an interesting and attractive design with good content is only half the battle in creating infographics. The most important is that it jives with the substance of your article and that data you present is dependable and worthy to be shared among peers.