They say a picture says a thousand words… which explains the infographic trend. That boring climate change report most people would never bother to read is suddenly a pictorial sensation. Infographics are not simply a tool to jazz up yawn-material but they provide a unique way to disseminate information to a wide audience quickly.
According to Visual.ly‘s definition of the term, infographics must have flow; they are meant to be visualisations of data that present complex information quickly and clearly.
In this post I thought I’d take a look at the top three things which makes an infographic more than a coating of sugary frosting and where they go from here:
1. We should be content rich…
It’s all about the content! You can have an absolutely amazing graph, but if the information is pointless, there’s nothing more likely to lose your audience. Content needs to be relevant and well cited, like this infographic on University Admissions Officer report. Just as stats in a press release should always be referenced. Ultimately, if there’s nothing news worthy about your data, an infograph is not going to grab headlines for you.
Borrowed from terribleinfographics.tumblr.com, this infographic shows us nothing.
C’est la vie!
2. …but our audience is time-poor.
As Freddie Ossburg, in his Guardian piece earlier this year describes, the best examples of infographics are ‘set out to solve or comprehend a problem for time-poor audiences. Companies and brands are moving with the trend of how consumers are digesting information and this movement shows no signs of slowing down.’
In 2012, it was estimated that between 75 to 85 per cent of TV viewers use another screen, whether that be smart phone, tablet or laptop, whilst watching the box. We received five times the amount of information now than we did in 1986 (see final infographic – obviously works!) An infographic needs to cut through all of that and deliver its content almost instantaneously. We know exactly what this baby is talking about instantly…
3. The future moves
So we’re visual creatures at heart, it takes us 15 milliseconds to digest a symbol. Yet as infographics grow in popularity, kinaesthetic aspects will become increasingly important to cut through the crowd. The internet, Web 2.0, has become more interactive with social media, it’s only logical that infographics will incorporate more HTML5, engaging the audience for longer.
To end on a suitable note… a moving infographic about why we love infographics!