The other day, I was showing a client an infographic (who wasn’t 100% sure what they were) and interestingly their immediate response was ‘I don’t know where to look’. Are we guilty as ‘marketing-types’ of loving to design infographics without actually checking they do in fact display information in a truly readable way. Looking again at the example I showed her (not one of ours I might add) I have to agree it was indeed very ‘busy’ and not easy to know where to start.
But is that the idea? Should you choose where to dip in and out. Taking in bite-size chunks of information? Are they designed for a particular type of brain? Some of us absorb information visually. I for one, remember when revising for exams recalling the actual colour of the page and the doodle next to the piece of vital information I was trying so hard to remember in the exam. So clearly my brain works in a very visual way. Some of us however are better at taking in information in an orderly and structured fashion – concentrating on the content, not the picture it creates. Does this then mean an infographic is confusing and disorderly for some?
I strongly believe that infographics must have a reason to be created. An infographic must only be used when the information being presented isn’t clear or engaging in its current form. Not just for the sake of creating an attractive design.
Definition (Wikipedia): ‘Infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly’. ‘These can improve cognition by utilizing graphics to enhance the human visual system’s ability to see patterns and trends.’
As with any business communication, an infographic should:
- Be produced in line with business objectives
- Be defined by deep analysis into the needs of both the business and the audience
- Always offer or add value where data is already in the public domain