The idea of infographics has not changed, yet with the increase of digital media use for businesses and organizations, the application of infographics continues to change as media changes. It is no surprise that content is more likely to be viewed and shared when supported by images. The term “infographic” has increased dramatically in popularity over the past ten years. (Source: Google Trends)
Since users are typically spending fewer seconds on a web page, it is important to be able to draw someone in and give them a reason to stay. Infographics do just that by presenting information, that can otherwise be overwhelming, into little bite size pieces. Because of the increasing popularity and need for infographics, it is vital as a designer to have the skill of not only being able to create an infographic, but to create the most applicable type of infographic that will help clarify the message, and not oversaturate the information.
Bravo uses many different types of infographics, with the key types being data, processes, maps, and verses. More than one technique is often used in an entire infographic piece. Each time a viewer looks at an infographic they must orient themselves to understand how the information is being presented. When developing an infographic, consider the following types and which apply best to your topic and communication goals:
Data infographics are typically what we think of when we hear the word “infographic.” These pieces often have graphs that are presented in an illustrative way, which can include using people or other icons as the unit of measure. By illustrating the data in the form it is representing, the message is essentially being communicated twice to the viewer. Once through words, once through images. If most of the information can be broken down to a chart, a data infographic is the best method to get viewers to engage with your statistics.
When communicating a step by step process that may be new to a viewer, process infographics ensure everyone is on the same page. Infographics that visualize a system can be used as a reference for a partnering article or as a stand-alone piece to introduce a new workflow or production process/schedule
When using the versus method it is typically established at the beginning of the infographic and carried all the way through to not confuse the audience. Versus infographics do not necessarily have to display contrasting or competing sides. When aiming to break down job roles, show changes between generations, or to teach your audience of a little-known problem that has developed, versus infographics are the best option.
Infographics with a map show the breadth of the information, and how it applies to not only themselves but others around the country or world. Maps do not have to be a typical state/country map, but they can be more illustrative if specific locations on the map are a topic of discussion in the infographic. This technique is often paired with one of the other types of infographics.
As online traffic for infographics continues to increase, it is important to get your message in the correct form to be consumed. By sharing your data in a visual representation, not only will more people view your data, but more individuals will understand it.
Meg Dobinson | Harrisburg