Short for "information graphic", infographics present data in a visually compelling way. They make it easier to digest complex concepts, while also holding the audience's attention for longer periods of time. Infographics pair incredibly well with a text-based blog or company webpage, because they communicate big ideas in an elegant fashion. Below, we've outlined why infographics are so valuable, as well as four techniques for using them in your creative or corporate work.
What is an infographic?
In our information age, the most effective communicators and teachers find a way to package relevant data into a compelling story. They search for data that matters, and then present it in an easily digestible format, with graphs and icons that illustrate important elements. Infographics can reveal patterns, break down multi-layered phenomenon, and make dry statistics more enjoyable. About 40% of people digest visual information more quickly than text, so it can be a strong complement to your main blog post or email message.
Here are a few ways to use infographics as an effective communication tool:
- Show Survey Results: Infographics are the perfect format for presenting survey data, because they allow you to break down each demographic into a color-coded, illustrated group. You can show the results for a particular question, shed light on communities and age groups, and learn what employees really think about their workplace. Infographics offer a more powerful medium for displaying the raw data gathered from surveys.
- Clarify Complex Ideas: Ultimately, the best infographics help break down a difficult concept, explain a cultural phenomenon, or provide insight into why people behave a certain way. Think of an infographic like a candy coating that surrounds bitter medicine, making it easier to swallow. The average reader's eyes may glaze over when reading a complex article, but when presented with the same information in an infographic format, they will likely be more receptive.
- Apply and Recruit for Jobs: If you're seeking employment in the design world, infographics can also serve as a great alternative to a traditional resume. Today, many design agencies have come to expect a visually stunning CV — something that demonstrates your graphic design chops and also lists your job history. In fact, if your resume is creative enough, the "experience" section may not even matter. This approach is just as effective for job recruiters as well. Infographics can be used to entice potential applicants about the job's responsibilities, benefits, and the company culture.
- Explain Core Mechanics: Finally, infographics allow designers to explain how a product or invention actually works, on a micro level. Each section can be visualized, with a text bubble and leading lines that provide more context as to how it interacts with the larger design. Whether it's showing how a steam engine, smartphone, or solar panel works, infographics have the power to illustrate elaborate mechanics in layman's terms.