These days, everyone’s in love with data. Facts, figures and statistics help you show why your product or service is better than another. Those facts and figures also help you see what the people want and what they are buying.
But traditional methods of sorting through figures and data leave a lot to be desired. Not everyone can handle looking at tables full of numbers all day or looking at lots of complicated graphs.
Enter the infographic, a straightforward way for you to share complicated information with others. Infographics help people see the story behind the numbers.
What Is An Infographic?
An infographic takes complex data and figures and turns them into a series of pictures or images. Infographics usually contain a mix of pie charts, bar graphs and pictograms to get the information across. With an infographic, you’re sharing more than just numbers. You also giving people the stories behind those numbers. Cleverly, TheNextWeb has used an infographic to explain what infographics are.
When Do You Use an Infographic?
Many circumstances call for the use of an infographic. One of the best times to use one is when you have a lot of data that you need to share in as simple a way as possible. An infographic adds pizzazz to even the most basic and boring of data sets.
For example, would you rather someone tell you that five out of 10 dentists prefer mint toothpaste? Or would you rather see a row of 10 toothbrushes, five of which are colored in green? The row of toothbrushes is more interesting. It’s also a lot more memorable than the numbers on their own.
For an infographic to mean something, there has to be meaning behind the data. Perhaps it was previously assumed that all dentists liked mint toothpaste. The news that only half of them do can shake up the toothpaste industry.
The images used in an infographic can make it easier for people to digest information. If you’ve got a lot of data to share, it makes sense to convert most if not all of it into an infographic.
Keep in mind that you don’t only have to use infographics for statistics and data. They can also be useful tools when you are sharing information about time.
One of the first examples of an infographic most people encounter is the timeline. You might used one in school to help you memorize certain dates or see how certain events in history influenced later events. Some people, notably designers, also use infographics in place textural resumes.
Another instance when it’s common to use infographics is when something complicated needs to be explained. Perhaps you’re explaining to someone how digestion works or how a touchscreen functions. Reading about digestion or touchscreens can be pretty boring and dry.
But using images to show how those processes work helps bring them to life. Think back to your biology or other science classes. Were you most engaged when reading the textbook or when actually getting to see how things functioned in real life?
Why Use Infographics?
Aside from helping people understand complicated processes, there are number of reasons why using infographics is beneficial. One reason is that people are more likely to click on and share infographics.
As the marketer Jeff Bullas showed, 40% of people respond to visual images over text. It’s also easier for people to process visual information, so about 90% of the information people process comes from images.
The brain’s ability to process visual images more easily also means infographics make it easier for people to figure things out. Step by step directions that include images are much easier for people to follow.
Infographics also lend an air of expertise to a project. When you take the time to create an infographic, you’re telling visitors that you’ve taken the time to process all the information and data needed to make the image.
An infographic can also be a time-saver. Depending on how quickly a person reads, it can take 10 minutes or so to get through an article. The average infographic takes about three minutes to share all of the relevant information.
The Anatomy Of A Popular Infographic
What features increase the chances that an infographic will take off or go viral? The most popular infographics share a few details in common.
Like landing pages, a great infographic has a great headline. People need to know what they’ll learn from the infographic at a glance. The best infographic headlines are short and sweet but still let a person know exactly what is going on.
Statistics are an important part of any infographic. You can think of statistics as informational snacks. They tell people important things, but they also go down easily. Statistics also usually come from a reliable, reputable source. To have the greatest effect, they should be as current as possible.
How those statistics are presented matters too. Social Media Today took a close look at some of the visual features found in the most popular of infographics. Nearly 73% of infographics use an identifiable color scheme. Nearly half of all infographics included the color blue.
Size of the image and amount of content included matter as well. No one wants to wait for a huge infographic to load. It can also be difficult to look at an infographic that is too large to fit on the screen. It can also be hard to read an infographic that was created at one size, then shrunk down.
You don’t want to overload your infographics with too much text or too much information. The most shared infographics usually have less than 400 words, according to Social Media Today.
An infographic shouldn’t be too crowded. If you’re struggling to fit all of your information on it, you probably have too much information. Leaving room for white space is essential. Otherwise people will find it difficult to know where to start or what they should be looking at.
The next time you have a lot of complicated information to share with your audience, try an infographic. It will increase engagement and help you better connect with your website visitors.