If you’re anything like the average American, you’re probably suffering from information overload. Just staying on task for half an hour can be a challenge; it’s no wonder we recommend creating videos that are only a few minutes in length – we can’t handle anything longer!
That’s why infographics make so much sense and work so well in practically any venue.
So, in an effort to alleviate this overloading, it would seem that over the past several years, new ways of relaying information have come into play through diverse, yet simple, data visualizations.
But that’s not entirely true. If we consider cave paintings, for instance, we can say that such infographics are not such a new concept after all.
By using visualizations instead of complex spreadsheets, we are able to get past the overloading and gain some true perspective.
When taking sets of data and putting them into simple patterns and connections, we can more easily visualize the information that matters the most. Designing this into visual concepts that makes sense to us and tells us a story, is in effect what information graphics (or infographics) are. Outside of all of that, infographics just look really cool.
But infographics aren’t necessarily profound or complex — in fact they should be extremely simple to decipher and comprehend — the more simple the better. Take the Stop sign. Is that not an infographic? Pretty simple, right?
Image courtesy of Mint.com
So how are Infographics created?
An accurate infographic will always consist of three parts:
- Content, and
Maintaining the K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid) perspective, the visuals should be easy to comprehend with just a glance, and the content and knowledge should only be necessary to read should further insight into the visuals be desired.
Devices used to relay these stunning visuals range from horizontal bar charts, pie charts, tables, graphs, maps, icons and lists.
Infographics and Social Media
When it comes to social media, content sharing is (or at least should be) a top of mind philosophy. Since infographics are so visual and more interesting to view than dull text and/or spreadsheet formats, they will (and do) undoubtedly have a higher chance of becoming viral and being profusely shared. We, as humans, are very visually oriented, and being such we appreciate the uniqueness of these infographics and reward them with links, shares, bookmarks and comments.
David McCandless, a data journalist and author, who spoke at TED last year, eloquently described that “data is the new soil, and it creates beautiful things [infographics]”.
How are companies using Infographics?
There really are unlimited uses for data visualizations within companies who want to provide simple yet powerful information. The concept of providing readers with a tool to assist in understanding complex data has taken the internet by storm – wherever you go, it seems, infographics are being added and shared throughout social media sites.
Just look at USA Today for an example of how infographics are being used today.
Every day, they visualize their stories in online infographics called “Snapshots.” They’re easy to understand and absorb.
But, they take this concept to another level.
Every day they also have a “Quick Question” (in a multiple choice format) that is related to the Snapshot, which readers are encouraged to respond to and in doing so, USA Today then has another set of data to create another Snapshot.
Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words — and in today’s online marketing stratosphere, a picture is worth a link, a share, a bookmark and, yes, a lead!