A while back, we talked about the infographic and three things we often get wrong about it. For it to really do its part, bear in mind:
- It’s not always the best, or even the right, thing to do with your data.
- Only include what’s necessary to communicate the message (and captivate the reader).
- Use it as part of your campaign, not its sole representative.
But that’s not all.
Infographics may have been designed with simplicity in mind, but that simplicity doesn’t extend to their creation. We’ve picked out three more misconceptions about infographic design that beg to be put right.
4. Pictures = narrative
Every image you put on your infographic tells its own little story, and it’s up to your reader to pick their own way around. Because visualized data is easily digestible data, right?
That’s not really how it works. Think: who were infographics created for? People who don’t like poring over data. And why don’t they? Because they get lost in it easily, among other reasons.
If you know people will get lost in data, why leave them to get lost in images that represent data?
Tie your data points together into a coherent narrative when visualizing data. Look for overarching themes, and common threads, and use these to establish meaningful connections between the images.
A logical visual flow present throughout your data makes it far more likely that readers will ‘get’ your infographic.
5. Infographic = spreadsheet
Cut up your infographic before you serve it. This motivates readers to consume it for all its goodness.
Visualization is not an excuse to present data all at once, like an Excel report. It’s a far better idea to present in blocks that convey their own individual key takeaways.
When added to the binding glue of a logical and entertaining narrative, this piece-by-piece approach makes your infographic feel more like a series of light snacks than a single, daunting full-course meal.
Never assume all your diners have big appetites – besides, breaking things down helps with both comprehension and retention.
6. Data = information
There are few better times to bust out this tired old dichotomy of data and information, than when putting together an infographic.
It’s not enough to just express data. You also have to tell people what it means.
This means drilling into the details of the details. Asserting that 70% of a certain group uses a certain product isn’t going to convince many – unless there are supporting pointers, for instance:
- how large that group was,
- how they reflect the audience at large,
- and how these results were derived in the first place.
Facts matter. Methods matter. It doesn’t make a difference if they’re plastered next to the pie charts and fancy colored bars, or quietly mentioned out of the way – they have to be there. Without these, data is just figures that readers won’t be able to relate to the big picture.
Think this is being nitpicky? It’s not. An infographic is a documentary, not a blockbuster. Which would you trust for historical fact: a sword-and-sandal epic, or the History Channel? Show the facts – because your readers want to be informed as well as entertained.
And that makes six myths about the infographic busted. Would you like to make it nine? Tell us your additions below!
Have a look-see at the infographics and other content marketing solutions GetIT Comms has done up.