Infographics are everywhere; and it’s no wonder why that’s happening, because infographics put a lot information into a small, engaging space. With such a configuration and so much usefulness, there’s a lot to be gained by creating an infographic. It not only shows creativity, it also demonstrates the ability to condense a plethora of facts, figures, and statistics–putting them into an organized list which can also be used to compare and contrast.
The trick is making an impression–and that isn’t an easy feat because you’re goal is to make a visual impact and strike a mental chord. In order to accomplish this, you’ll have to put your best foot forward, pleasing both sides of the human brain. Now, it sounds like a much larger task than it did when you first began thinking about putting together an infographic, but that’s okay, there’s plenty of good information out there.
Good versus Bad Infographics
Okay, you’ve seen plenty of examples of infographics on all kinds of sites across the web. And you’ve been eyeing some free or low cost infographics software that will do the job nicely, so you think. If only it were really that simple: download a small software package, plug in some text and numbers and watch your infographics come alive.
Do you have a complicated message packed with dense data, an enlightening set of facts, or a powerful message you want to communicate with your customers? If you’re not using them already, you need to start producing infographics. —Inc.com
It might surprise you to learn, it isn’t anywhere near that simple. Sure, there’s all kinds of software and web-based applications available but those are severely limited in their scope. The word “customization” only goes so far. You’ll quickly discover that what these programs do is somehow pound a square peg into a round hole. Not surprisingly, it doesn’t end there, you may have downloaded malware to your machine in your zeal to get something out.
To really get what you’re looking for, you’ll have to spend a good deal of time and money to get the right software, then conceptualize your design, create your design, add all the necessary elements and then publish it.
Designing Shareable Infographics that Generate Traffic
Now that you know what not to do, here’s a checklist of how to design infographics which look great and pack a lot of factual punch:
- Focus on the end user from start to finish Now that sound obvious, but it’s all too easy to get lost in the minutia of design, loosing sight of the end goal. The end goal is to make a eye-catching, informative graphic that actually has a point. Keep the end user in mind every step of the way.
- Show, don’t tell. The purpose of infographics is to tell a story with pictures. Let’s reiterate that: tell a story with pictures. In other words, you don’t have the space to explain everything. Keep your wording tight and to the point with facts and figures.
- Don’t use typography as a crutch. Where you’ll sabotage your own effort is to use fancy typography rather than compelling facts. Think of it as you would the adage about putting lipstick on a pig. No matter how visually impressive it looks, if it doesn’t mean anything, it won’t get shared, period.
- K.I.S.S. or, well, you know. Keep it simple, stupid–you’ve heard that with so many things and infographics are no exception. Don’t cramp too much information into each frame. Clutter will only serve as a turn off and defeat the entire purpose of putting the time and energy into the effort.
- Check your facts twice. Things change quickly in this world, especially when dealing with current events, business trends and anything related to the internet. Also, list your sources at the bottom of the graphic for the sake of credibility.
- Use common graphics. Now’s not the time to introduce Dali-inspired charts. Use things which are familiar, like pie and bar charts. This not only makes it easier to read, but doesn’t introduce big time distractions.
Finally, you ought to take the time to test your design and revamp as necessary. Don’t rush it out, run it by a test audience first. The point to this exercise is to see the forest for the trees. You might have missed something crucial or made a faux pas. Before you put it out, make sure that your site is optimized for social media to get the most impact.