21 Reasons For Using Infographics
Infographics are visual representations of data. They can be used to tell a data story, show trends, patterns, or relationships, or explain complex concepts or data. They can also be used to engage your audience and draw them into your content. The term infographic was coined in 1990 by Edward Tufte who later wrote The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (Graphics Press). Before that time, it was often referred to as “charts”!
Why use infographics?
There are many reasons to create an infographic: Here are some examples.
1. To help people understand complex issues – for example, explaining how your business works or what products you offer.
2. As a way of encouraging customer loyalty – for example, showing how much your competitor spends on marketing and why yours is so different.
3. To improve employee engagement – for example, using an infographic to highlight key performance indicators which have contributed towards company growth over the last year.
4. To share interesting information with other team members – for example, presenting results from a survey.
5. To promote sales through effective use of visual content.
6. To sell more books/movies/products/services.
7. To make data compelling.
8. To increase SEO rankings on search engines.
9. To attract new customers / clients.
10. To give an insight into how people live today.
11. To educate people about something they may not know or understand.
12. To present complex ideas in an easy-to-follow format.
13. For non-profit organizations to raise awareness of their cause.
14. To encourage social media interaction & engagement.
15. To communicate corporate news stories effectively and efficiently.
16. To provide a straightforward way to visualize substantial amounts of data.
17. To encourage discussion and debate regarding an issue.
18. To illustrate research findings.
19. To communicate information visually, e.g. for the blind or dyslexic.
20. To represent data in a way which makes sense to everyone no matter where they come from.
21. To communicate about overly complex topics in an intuitive way.
Understanding Infographic Types
There are many diverse types of infographics, but here are some common ones:
A chart is a graphical representation of numeric values arranged in rows and columns. It usually looks like a table, but has three main differences:
- A chart shows only two dimensions.
- Numbers in one row must add up to 100%.
- Column width matches column height (i.e. all numbers are equal size).
A graph is a representation of values plotted against each other. This includes bar charts, line graphs, pie charts, scatter plots, etc. It enables us to compare various categories of values or quantities over time. Although there is no standard definition of the word, most people will associate graphs with lines, curves, or
lines that look like circles (pie charts), squares (scatter plots), rhombuses (bar charts), and triangles (line graphs). The choice between several choices depends on what can be shown and what you want to show. Scatter plots can be made more attractive by adding axes, symbols, titles, legends, grid lines, and background colors etc.
A map is an image that shows geographic locations. In this context, the terms ‘map’ and ‘chart’ are used interchangeably. A map helps people see relationships between things (such as cities connected by roads) while a chart does just the same thing for quantity and frequency (the number of times you visit a city every year).
A table is like a spreadsheet except it displays numerical data arranged according to certain criteria (like the type of business, category, etc.). Examples of tables include the top 10 list, top 20 list, bottom 15 list, top 5 list, top 3 list, etc. The larger the table, the better the statistics.
A diagram is a drawing that represents knowledge concisely. Diagrams often consist of shapes and arrows representing processes, flowcharts, organizational structures, logical connections, or any combination of these. These diagrams have been around since ancient times. They were called “Sophists’ Chalk Drawings” because they could be sketched quickly and easily. Because of their clarity, they became extremely popular among early scientists.
Nowadays, diagrams are still extremely useful for communicating ideas, organizing your thoughts, exploring innovative ideas, explaining concepts, illustrating facts, making comparisons, giving instructions, and so forth. However, sometimes, diagrams can be misleading when they do not clearly indicate how relations might work together. When creating a diagram for communication purposes, keep in mind three important principles:
- Always put the simplest explanation first (for example, use the words “and” instead of “or”).
- Only use straight lines.
- Avoid using complex lines or patterns.
Each picture tells its own story. We need diverse kinds of pictures to communicate different messages.
Infographics Entertain and Capture Viewers
The best infographics will entertain and capture viewers. They should be easy to understand and provide context so that people don’t feel like they’re just being fed information. They should also be able to convey essential messages quickly and succinctly.
Include your visualization tool; a good one will be accessible from within the web page. For example, I find D3 intuitive, but others may prefer something else. If you’re building a responsive website, make sure to check out responsive-friendly tools such as Bootstrap’s excellent responsive grids. You’ll be surprised at how many websites fail miserably to adapt gracefully to a smartphone viewport.
You require a way to display your data visually. There are lots of ways to do this – some are easier than others. But try to avoid simply displaying raw numbers or percentages. It’s hard enough to decide whether your data supports a particular claim without having to fuddle through complicated visualizations too.
What does each graph mean?
What products and services do they want?
Which ones are most successful?
Have we reached all our targets already?
Are there any trends over time?
Any seasonal factors? (For example, sales tend to go up between November and April.)
It’s tempting to think that if you know your data well you won’t need visual data displays. This is wrong. The best visualizations allow you to see the whole big picture, as opposed to getting lost in minutiae.
Keep it simple and clear. Show only relevant data points. Don’t overwhelm anyone with a mess of graphs and charts.
What is data storytelling?
Data storytelling is a new field of study that combines data visualization with narrative storytelling. The goal is to tell stories using data so that people understand the data better and can apply what they have learned to real-world problems. This approach has been gaining popularity recently, especially among journalists who want to share information more effectively.
Some journalists say that this method is even more effective than traditional journalism because it’s harder for readers to ignore images and graphics embedded in text.
Stories also allow you to use interesting anecdotes to bring out emotions. These techniques work very well for news articles. In fact, the same principles can be applied to personal blogs and other types of content.
In short, data storytelling is just another way to present compelling information — often in pictures and diagrams — so that you have a chance of making your case stick in someone’s mind.
Why is data storytelling important?
Data stories can help people understand complicated issues and data sets. They can also provide context around what we already know and what we don’t. By using infographics, we can tell our own stories through data and make those stories more accessible.
Here are some reasons to tell stories about data:
1. People love stories. They remember them longer than dry facts.
2. Data is easy to digest, but it’s not always easy to explain. Stories make sense out of complex subjects.
3. Visuals work better than words. If you show a photo of a smiling toddler instead of a list of his stats, you’ll get a higher response rate. People respond better to images (and yes, even animals).
4. You can put together compelling visuals quickly. Statistics take forever to prepare, but they’re worth the effort.
5. An infographic doesn’t necessarily have to look pretty. We don’t care if it looks like an illustration or comic book. It’s the message inside those matters.
6. Using infographics to convey complex ideas makes them easier to remember. When you learn something new, you associate knowledge with an image. We store lots of images in our brains, so when they come along in connection with something else, we recall them easily. For example, students studying vocabulary could print out their favorite animal photos and place them alongside definitions. Or parents could create cute family groups and place them on their refrigerator door.
7. Infographics can draw attention to certain aspects of your data set. Sometimes, it’s good to highlight data points that aren’t immediately obvious or that aren’t relevant to the main point of a topic. For example, you might include only statistics from one group of customers, then emphasize how that subset differs from its peers.
8. People spend less time thinking critically about data when presented visually.
9. You can incorporate humor into your presentation. People laugh at jokes more than they cry at sad music. And laughter works wonders like a great icebreaker.
10. If you combine statistics with graphs and charts, you can present data in diverse ways. For instance, we could measure customer satisfaction by creating scores based on surveys that ask questions like
“How satisfied were you last year?”
11. You may need to choose between showing raw numbers or averages. On the one hand, raw numbers seem more objective. However, you might find yourself sharing a number without indicating where it came from or how it was calculated. And while average values are more representative of everyone, sometimes you want to see individual results. In this case, visualizing a bar chart would be helpful because you’d be able to see specific trends within the numbers.
12. Some people use infographics to make their point. This happens most often when a publication uses graphics to support a particular viewpoint. The problem here is that you should never design an infographic just for the sake of supporting your argument. Graphics should reinforce the credibility of your source material.
What makes a great data story?
The best infographics tell a compelling story through clear visuals and straightforward text. They should include only relevant information and avoid using too many words. They should be easy to understand and follow, and they should be able to convey the key message quickly.
When designing infographics, keep these key factors in mind:
1. Make sure that your graphics are consistent across all platforms and devices. Otherwise, people will struggle to read your material.
2. Be aware of the limits of space. Your audience has a lot of other things to do besides reading your content, such as answering emails or surfing the Internet. Give them room to work.
3. Don’t go overboard with colors; otherwise, they’re going to get lost within your piece. Remember, people don’t pay attention to color unless there’s something meaningful behind it.
4. Use images sparingly. A picture speaks louder than a thousand words, so let your text flow naturally around the image.
5. Keep everything tight and simple. Avoid complex layouts; instead, provide a few pieces of information in each section. Remember not to overwhelm viewers with too much information. Just enough is better!
6. Do not try to put too much information on one page. Instead, break down larger infographics into smaller, digestible chunks.
7. Infographic design is hard. It takes skill and practice, but if you put some effort into it, you’ll come out ahead.
8. Include plenty of explanations whenever possible. While some readers appreciate being given explanations, others prefer to learn things on their own. But in both ways, people love having the opportunity to dig deeper. Explain why certain numbers are and give tips for interpreting the data.
9. Create infographics that have a purpose. Think about the potential impact of your project before diving into the process. Is it necessary to create a new infographic from scratch? Can you adapt one you found online? Could you redesign an existing one?
10. Design for ease of understanding. When you’re working on an infographic, remember that you’re communicating with the public. Design for those who are less familiar with technical jargon.
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Designing effective infographics
If you take time to consider what makes a good data story, then you can plan for the success of any infographic. These ten points will help ensure that every infographic becomes successful. Designing effective infographics. Know your target audience.
If you take time to consider…
When you’re designing an infographic, think about the type of person you want to reach. What do you hope they’ll gain by reading your article or viewing your chart? Where would they go for more information? Consider where you could improve the chances of your idea taking off.
It Needs to Include Good Data
A well-designed infographic should contain only relevant information, and not too many extraneous details. For example, if you’re trying to illustrate the relationship between two variables, don’t include a graph of the entire population. Instead, focus on just those people who fall into the category where both variables are true. If you want to show a trend, stick to the most recent years’ worth of data.
Don’t go overboard with colors; else, they’re going to get lost within the piece. Remember, people won’t pay attention to color unless there’s something meaningful behind it.
Funny pictures, logos, jokes, etc. may be funny to you, but some other people may find them annoying. You need to choose carefully. Try asking yourself these questions when deciding whether a funny image, logo, joke, etc. is appropriate or not. Does the picture/logo/joke add anything meaningful to the main message of my article? The infographic itself is only valuable if it includes interesting data (remember don’t include meaningless statistics). How does the graphic reinforce the ideas I’m presenting?
Are there ways to reword the infographic so that my point gets across even more clearly?
To make sure that your infographic stands apart from its competitors, be sure to include a unique visual element in each section of your infographic. This way, your visuals effectively communicate the key concepts of your content while standing out from the rest. For instance, if you include a map in one part of your infographic, be sure to emphasize this feature at least twice in another area.
1. Don’t rely on fonts alone. Fonts are great, especially for emphasizing words or phrases within a sentence. However, they aren’t enough on their own. You also need images and illustrations to support your text. And without those things, a font might as well be invisible.
2. Be sure to include interactive elements wherever possible. As web users become more accustomed to interacting with websites, we’re seeing increased website designs that incorporate live components such as drop-downs, sliding menus, buttons, tabs, sliders and more. Interactive tools really give us the ability to present our messages quickly and efficiently. In fact, studies have shown that people prefer to learn through interaction over simply watching videos or reading articles. By incorporating interactivity into your design, you’ll keep your readers engaged throughout your entire content.
3. Avoid using distracting backgrounds. Backgrounds often serve as distractions when working over the internet. While it’s okay to use a background here and there, avoid using them all the time. The best place to use a background is in areas like headers, footers, and navigation bars.
4. Use contrast wisely. Using light gray text on a dark background is effective because it allows the reader to easily see what’s important. A darker background on lighter text can work well too, though it requires a bit more effort to read. When choosing a background, consider how much text will be placed against it, and select a color with sharp contrast.
5. Keep it simple! At first glance, an overly complicated infographic can seem impressive. But it can be overwhelming for your audience. So, instead of striving for perfection (which rarely happens), try focusing on being concise. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any graphics or charts — but don’t overwhelm your viewers with unnecessary information.
6. Make your points clear, concise, and easy to follow. People who enjoy using infographics tend to appreciate well-crafted infographics that are easy to understand. Infographics that are cluttered or hard to navigate won’t get the same results.
7. Know when to stop. Sometimes it takes a lot of time to produce a decent infographic. So before you go crazy, ask yourself if what you’ve created is worth spending hours creating. If you feel that the finished product isn’t ready, save it for later. Or better yet, scrap it entirely and start again.
8. Add animation. Including animations in your infographic is fun and engaging, which makes your content more memorable. Animated infographics add personality, making them more appealing to your target audience.
9. Know when to break the convention Just because something has been done before doesn’t make it wrong. An approach that works today may not work tomorrow. So, take some time to think about whether this technique is appropriate for your design.
10. Design your graphics correctly. Graphics must be clean and consistent across platforms so that they look similar everywhere. This includes every aspect of your design: colors, fonts, logos, etc.
11. Include at least three examples of success. It helps to provide real life examples of successful infographics and shows that even extraordinarily complex topics can be broken down into manageable pieces.
Start by listening to your audience
The first step to creating an effective infographic is understanding who your target audience is. What information will appeal to this group? Will they prefer text or images? Do they like charts or graphs? If you don’t know what kind of content your audience prefers, try asking them directly.
You might ask: “What do our prospects want to learn from us? How do they search for information? How can we help them find answers?” These questions will give your ideas for specific types of infographics you should create. You could then build on these ideas to produce other questions to guide your designs.
When I first started authoring this article, I was asked by my friend to draft the following article in the context of his business. He wanted to share with me the strategy he used for a particular article on infographics. So here is my feedback.
Here are a few things that I found useful.
There are many ways to convey the message or concept and the way it can be conveyed depends upon your audience. For example, if you were speaking with someone who had no idea what infographics were, you would explain it as simply as possible. But if you were speaking to a person who already knew what an infographic was, then you could use it to prove or support their point or theory. In either case, remember there is no one right or wrong way.
- A good headline should include a link back to the website/page so that people can learn more.
- Use bullet lists or lists to capture attention. Each item in the list needs subheadings to describe the topic and provide more details about the topic. The subheadings help in making the contents of the list easy to read.
- Always have three or four different methods to deliver your content. It provides variety and keeps the reader interested. Moreover, you need to keep your readers engaged and entertained throughout the process. By doing so, they become more invested and connected to your brand’s products or services.
The above points are just in the context of delivering excellent quality informative material rather than getting sales material. To do that, you need to understand who your audience is and how you can connect with them. Otherwise, you can end up spending time producing stuff that nobody wants.
Pinpoint The Data That Matters
The best infographics tell a story using clear and concise information. They should include only the most relevant data points, and they should be easy to understand. If you want to create an infographic that will be shared widely, you may want to consider including some text alongside the images.
This additional information helps viewers understand the images better, and it also makes it easier to share.
Don’t underestimate the power of storytelling
The most popular type of infographic is the simple picture-no-text piece. People love visual storytelling because it engages them visually while allowing them to focus on the narrative aspects through audio or video. Most infographics begin with text, but when they move away from that format, people get hooked. Why? Because the stories behind the graphics make people feel something. When they look at pictures of smiling kids, they smile. Also, when they see graphs showing how much money they’re saving, they save too; when they see statistics that show a significant difference between two groups, they take action to change their own lives. The emotional connection allows them to relate to the graphic itself and feel motivated.
How well does your infographic speak to your audience?
In order to have an impact, your infographic needs to address your specific audiences’ pain points. If you don’t, there’s very little chance that your infographic will have any impact on your audience.
There are a number of questions you can ask yourself in order to determine just where to start. Here’s a checklist:
Who is your target audience? (Make sure you’re addressing the right issues.)
Who are your competitors aiming at?
How do I compare?
Are we missing anything?
What problems does my customer face today?
What is keeping him/her awake at night?
How much could this issue cost me if I didn’t solve it?
If you can answer all these questions, then you’ve covered your bases. You’ll already know exactly where to go next and what information you need to convey to succeed.
An infographic has no intrinsic value unless its purpose is to add value for someone else. This means that you must be able to justify why anyone would find your work valuable. Put another way: How can you convince someone else that you were worth his or her time?
Design for a variety of devices
You wouldn’t design a brochure as if it was going to appear on a desktop computer screen. And yet, many business owners think that designing infographics for print gives them carte blanche to ignore device compatibility in terms of design or layout. Not true. It’s critical that you test your work across different platforms and ensure that it looks good on tablets and smartphones as well as large displays. Also, bear in mind that older browsers won’t display images correctly. So you might not realize there’s a problem until after you publish.
Think mobile first
A lot of new infographic design trends are centered around making infographics responsive. That means adapting the appearance to fit smaller screens. But if your goal isn’t to create a product that works perfectly on small phones, isn’t optimized for tablets, and doesn’t even attempt to function on larger monitors, then all those fancy effects are pointless. You’re better off spending your time and energy on the design instead of worrying about whether or not a visitor will be able to read your data effectively.
Measure the results
Once you know which of your ideas worked best — and which ones failed miserably — you should track the success of each idea you produce separately. For example, you had four ideas for infographics, one of which got over 10% engagement and three others had less than 5%. By tracking how often visitors engage with each idea within 24 hours of clicking through from their email, you’ll see which content works best so you can repeat it for future campaigns. The same goes for social sharing.
Also, don’t forget to measure the ROI of your efforts. Many businesses mistakenly assume that simply producing a piece of content will drive more traffic to their site or lead conversions. Only once you make actual sales or collect leads from your graphic can you prove its effectiveness without question.
Don’t forget SEO
Just because you put together gorgeous infographic doesn’t mean people will stumble upon it. To get noticed online, use Google Analytics to learn more about your target audience. As part of this process, look at keywords used to search for similar content (even if you plan to optimize your title tag and description). These are wonderful places to start when you want to figure out which topics are driving traffic to your site. Finally, take time to optimize your website pages. When you’re ready to launch, include links back to your graphics, so visitors can easily share or embed them in posts or tweets.
The most important thing is that the Infographic gives a clear message that gets attention right away. A single image may say too much; but a combination of visual elements help gives a clear message.
In Summary with Stats
Visual content gets a 94% higher engagement. The average post is over 1,200 words * People are more likely to share a visible range – 85% of users are more likely to share visual content than text-based posts. – 90% of B2B marketers use infographics in their marketing. 60% of customers are likely to buy a product after seeing it in an infographic. Infographics get shared around fifty times more often than average text-based posts.
Infographics get more shares than any other type of content; according to one study, infographics can receive up to 50x the shares of images. They also get more views, comments, likes, and +1’s. According to HubSpot marketing automation software, ” without question, the most effective use of stats is to help us understand our audience and what motivates them.” And since your goal as a marketer is to increase conversions, “Insight into where people look to find relevant content is key to making sure that we are providing fresh, engaging material that draws them in.”
So, there it is. We had a lot of questions about the value of infographics.
We had a lot of demand from our users to offer some type of custom infographics. So this week we started a Gumroad account to offer our custom infographics to our users.
You can follow us there: https://pcsocial.gumroad.com/follow
Visit our Intelligent Graphic Design Website: https://ai.societalcloud.com/2022
Message us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope we were able to explain and bring value to you and your company with our infographic article. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out.