Have you ever suffered from information overload?
Your eyes glaze over and then you start drooling at your screen until you snap your head back and hope no one saw you.
In the age of endless information, becoming overwhelmed with stimuli is a common occurrence for our audiences. So, as content creators, our goal is to rummage through the pile of data and find unique and uncomplicated ways to present stories.
And a lot of times, these stories take the form of aesthetically pleasing informational graphics. Yes, infographics, visual representations of data, are an effective way to build great content.
Infographics have three key elements:
- The visuals
- The content
- The facts
These elements transform data into a digestible image that your audience might understand more easily. Their purpose is to efficiently communicate concepts and ideas through the visualization of data and information. And the best ones are immediately effective.
Infographics are ideal for content marketing because they serve as a visual complement to a set of data. People don’t always love to stare at data tables, but visualizing data in a meaningful way can draw interest to what may have previously only drawn blank stares.
And, most importantly, they are shareable. Images reign supreme in social media, and infographics are ideal for pinning, Tweeting, and posting to Facebook (when you get the dimensions right). But to build a successful infographic, you must first find the best gift-wrap for the data.
Bright colors, cute illustrations, familiar formations and simple graphics catch the eye. The less wording, the better.
Their visual nature is also what makes infographics attractive and easy to share via any social media platform and blogs.
A good rule of thumb for building a successful infographic is asking yourself: Will a person who’s scrolling through Pinterest, Tumblr or Facebook click on the image and spend only a minute understanding it?
Because that’s all it should take, a minute.
Here are some examples of infographic styles:
- Minimalist Infographics display data with not a lot of numbers or words. It’s an effective way to deliver the information because it is visually striking. It relies greatly on color-coding, illustrations and familiar shapes to achieve a level of quick understanding, like this one by Jared Fanning on the Top 10 Most Read Books Of All Time.
Or this one, from Curtis Spontinelli on the Evolution of Storage.
- Interactive Infographics allow the user to have a richer experience and more information can be included the infographic. With Flash, the designer can choose what information to hide and which to show, the movement of the infographic, what should be clickable and how to draw the viewer to click on it, etc. Yet with limitations on iPhone and iPad apps, developers have been using HTML5 for apps.
GOOD created an interactive infographic on “Political Climate During The Election Cycle. First of all, it doesn’t overwhelm the audience with a lot of information, but it actually gives a lot of data in a very structured way. The data is presented in a less intimidating way, fitting the purpose of an infographic. Also, the color scheme is great because the colors are visually enticing.
- Video Infographics are motion graphic illustrations that combine storytelling with visual text, graphs, images, and a voice over. They make it easier to highlight certain points more explicitly. “Turn It Off” by Nigel Upchurch is a video showing why it’s important to turn off your computer monitors when you’re not using them to save energy. The message is data based, illustration oriented, and clear.
I hope I didn’t overload you with information. I know this probably would have been better in an infographic, but hey that’d be a whole other post. Here are some cool resources to start your infographic search:
[Image: Ivan Cash]