Infographics are the latest craze in the world of online marketing and SEO – an infographic being anything which visualises a data set.
This has been made abundantly clear over the last half year as a flood of companies have released infographics on a wide range of topics. A simple Google image search brings up a dazzling array of infographics (some good, some bad, some laughable) on social media, health issues, puppies and just about anything you would care to think about.
Does this flood devalue infographics in general? The answer is no, provided your visual is something truly captivating.
A year ago it was probably acceptable to throw out any old infographic safe in the assurance that it would be picked up by someone just on the merit of the medium. But in this saturated market we have to focus on creating pieces that are different, engaging and ultimately worth a reader spending time on. Here are a few crucial things to consider when developing an infographic:
Use this as your refrain whenever thinking up ideas; with so much data out there you need to ensure that there is an actual reason for people to read on. Does anyone really want to know how many clowns it would take to fill the Empire State Building to the brim? If the answer is no, don’t visualise it.
Companies which produce infographics just for the sake of it, tend to latch on to catchy topics – celebrities and social media being the most popular. This leads carpeting companies to comment on social media, and has pet stores informing us about the latest celeb trends. Wacky! When you create an infographic, do it on something that you have authority on, otherwise what is there to make your opinion/data stand out from everything else out there? People share data from trusted sources – so talk about things that you are trusted for.
The vast majority of infographics are incredibly inaccessible; they’re either long strips of images that take altogether too much scrolling to process, or overly complicated images that defy comprehension. Avoid falling into this trap by designing something that is easy to understand and appealing to the eye. Data visualisation is about making an issue easily understandable – never lose sight of this.
Many ingredients go into making a successful infographic. Yet these are some of the core principles we focus on whenever we kick off a project. By following them we create pieces which are easy to understand, simple and, most importantly, start a conversation which denizens of the internet world are keen to pick up; and that is the magic of infographics!
What’s your favourite infographic? Link it in the comments below.