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September 19, 2013

Effective Infographics: Part I

Ann Timms l Blue Door ConsultingThe term ‘infographic’ is applied to the graphic or visual representation of information, data or knowledge. Its purpose is to provide readers with complex chunks of information in a brief format that’s easy on the eyes. It’s not a series of charts and graphs – and it’s not paragraph after paragraph of hard data. It’s a visual representation-a form of storytelling if you will. 

Creating effective infographics is no easy task. In fact, you may even say it’s an art. But more and more, we see infographics popping up that are merely a host of useful information presented in a not so useful way-that is, they are heavy on the text with pretty illustrations and graphics that serve not much more purpose than to accent. Even with the best intentions-many are still getting it wrong. If your company is incorporating infographics into their online efforts, here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Grab the readers attention: Effective infographics should be attention-grabbing and should keep the focus of the reader long enough to deliver your message. Compel your reader to your infographic with attention-grabbing headlines, bold fonts and interesting data.
  2. Be engaging: Basic charts and graphs do not constitute an infographic. An unexpected element in an ordinary bar graph adds interest-if you’re illustrating the number of working farms present in America, a silo in place of the standard bar on a bar graph can be a great way to convey your information in a compelling way.
  3. Simplify the data: Infographics should serve to simplify complex data-not complicate it. Text, images, icons and data should serve to convey facts and statistics in a visually appealing and condensed way. Think of infographics as a form of CliffsNotes®. Put the focus on the important stuff-the stuff you really want your audience to see. 

Infographics can be a great way for your organization to engage and communicate with customers. Look for Part II of ‘Effective Infographics’ for more information.

Sources:
Infographic.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 15 Sept. 2013. Web. 18 Sept. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infographic>.
“Search Engine Journal.” Search Engine Journal. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2013. <http://www.searchenginejournal.com/5-important-principles-of-effective-infographics/65085/>.