Visualising Data with Infographics

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In a world where there are over 1 billion websites it’s hard for your website to stand out and grab your audience’s attention. It’s even more difficult when you combine this with other daily distractions hence why many people leave a page after 15 seconds if they are not satisfied.

So grabbing your audience’s attention is important and a great way to do this is with infographics.

 

An infographic is a visual representation of data allowing the audience to better understand the information more quickly and clearly. Representing data in this way can allow for huge amounts of data to be distilled in to a picture that easy to understand in seconds. Infographics also make it easier for humans to spot patterns and trends. Infographics, more simplistically can be used to make comparisons, to highlight facts or even as a storytelling tool.

 

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Top Reasons Why You Should Use Infographics

Barbara M. Miller and Brooke Barnett, when researching infographics found that text and graphics are less effective tools of communication on their own but “combining text and graphics allows communicators to take advantage of each medium’s strengths and diminish each medium’s weaknesses.”

  • Quick to read: Humans are visual creatures as 90% of information that engages the brain is visual. The brain also processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text.
  • Understandable: Infographics are easy to process, so much so that they’re 30 times more likely to be read when compared to a text article.
  • Easy to follow: When following instructions people complete them 323% better with illustrations than those without.
  • Attention grabbing: Did you know the brain can process a symbol in 0.15 seconds and attribute a meaning to this in 0.1 seconds?
  • Brand awareness: An infographic that is rooted within a brand logo is a powerful way to create stronger brand awareness
  • Increased expertise: The ability to interpret and professionally present data is a skill that is admired and when done correctly can position you as an expert. 
  • Popular: People or brands who use infographics can experience an average of 12% more traffic.
  • Viral: Infographics are more likely to be shared and therefore the potential to go viral is increased
  • Global coverage: Data can now be interpreted through numbers and images that translates across languages and cultures, making your data universal. 

 

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5 Great Infographic Examples

Here are some of the best infographics, they cover a wide range of topics proving that any data can be interesting when presented well.

The World as 100 People

Simple Science of Food and Wine Pairing

Whistle While You Work: impact of Music on Productivity

 How To Avoid A Hangover

15 Terrifying Statistics on Your Cellphone Addiction

 

Best Practices for Creating Your Infographic

Keep it simple: While it may be tempting to add as much data as possible to an infographic it makes it harder for the reader to understand thus defeating the object. The effectiveness of an infographic is based on its simplicity and ease to understand data. Be careful to make sure your data isn’t over complication, over-designed or packed with too much data.

Use good data: Overwhelming people with too many numbers, figures and statistics is pointless, it just puts people off. Good data consists of accurate, concise and valuable information and displaying truthful data goes a long way when you want to establish yourself as an expert in the field.

Give context: It may be tempting to include data on everything you know in to your infographic however, your user may not know as much as you. Always break it down and provide context around facts and figures to provide a whole picture.

Tell a story: The visualisation of data or information is meant to guide the reader through a story. Facts and statistics should be used to complement and enhance content instead of using them as a filler. This Harvard Business Review article provides some tips on creating your own data visualisation story.

 

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Surprise the reader: Unusual and unexpected information can surprise the reader, increasing their alertness and focus. Getting the audience to question their own beliefs, fill the gap with your information or open their minds to new ideas are all ways to hold your reader’s attention.

Go with the flow: Establish the flow of your infographic and how you want your readers to be guided through it. This will help convey your story successfully and seamlessly. Create your infographic with your story flow in mind so that even when looked at from a distance it is still obvious how it should be read.

Visualise the visualisation: Understand how you want your readers to interpret your data and how this information should be visualised via bar charts, pie charts etc. Choosing the correct graphic to display your data is key, it should enable readers to easily understand the data whilst conveying your data accurately.

Pick a style: To make your infographic visually appealing it needs to be balanced and consistent in terms of colour and images. A hierarchical design works is usually the best option and the use of size, colours and images help to enhance this by making important information pop. Small chunks of information are ideal as they are easily digested by the reader. Additionally, it’s recommended to stick to one style of images and graphics, have a restricted colour palette and font range to prevent your infographic from being too ‘busy’.

 

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Conclusion

Data is great, we use it to make important decisions, gain trust, set ourselves apart from the competition and create value. However without effective visualisations this data just isn’t as valuable. Good data is data that is easily interpreted. Infographics are a great tool to use when you want to convey data in an interesting format and are essential to a successful marketing strategy. Creating and using these visualisations effectively enables you to reach your audience quickly and get your message across. Just be sure to use our tips to create the most effective infographic that will engage your audience and they may just learn something new!

 

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