Infographics are pictorial displays of large repositories of information in an easy to understand format. They have proved to be an effective medium of communication and fun source of learning for active readers on the internet. In 1983, psychologist Howard Gartner identified spatial (visual) intelligence – the proclivity to learn or respond better to images vs. other communication (eg: text). Infographics have taken visual information sharing to the next level. The process of creating infographics could be referred to as data visualization or information design.
There are four major aspects of compiling an infographic – knowledge level,organization of the data visual appeal and content. Each of these elements needs to be closely interlinked while designing an infographic. For instance, the content needs to be given character and attention through appropriate visual cues. A nature infographic like one on the food cycle would require earthy colours like green, blue and brown to seem appropriate to context. The data needs to be well organized. There are several people and companies that seek to use infographics to explain statistical information, like for e.g. the growth in fast food market in the US in the last 5 years. Hence, an excellent information flowchart in accordance to the visuals is essential for a user.
The internet as a domain of interaction has been built on sharing information, and infographics represent the future in this aspect. Social media platforms, for instance can be exceedingly text/link intensive for its users. Facebook and Twitter allow for pictures to be shared as links. However, due to their social nature, large user base and top display format, grabbing attention is extremely challenging and competitive. Infographics thus prove to be a brilliant medium for focused and concise information sharing.
Infographics are a tremendously efficient mode of advertising, being relatively fresh compared to other communication. Those who have grown up to traditional forms of advertising like TV, radio, print or even online ads are beginning to be drawn into infographic content. The main reason for this is infographics come across as genuinely seeking to engage with its readers.
Let’s take the example of an automotive firm. This company may or may not be doing well in terms of sales, profits or market share. However, any company is mindful of its brand value. This is more so true in the auto sector that is highly competitive in nature. The company can choose to create an informative visual that chalks out what a potential used car buyer should be mindful of before venturing out in the market. Additional information such as sales trends in the past one year, highest selling models below a certain price point etc will create a very positive image in the minds of thousands of readers. It feels like the company wants to do more than just make a sale, and that counts for a lot in building positive brand equity.
Infographics definitely have a sense of virality to them. Choose an interesting topic , or one that is connected to your business. Plug in a bunch of statistics that make sense, use some funky colours and voila – you re good to go! Promotion is easy – use social media platforms and keep an email and online version ready as well. The biggest factor to choose infographics is it makes decision making for the reader and receiver much quicker and easier.