A great way to share information about your business is to create infographics. Why? As we’ve blogged about before, data can be a drag, but turning it into something visual is a simple way to transform reams of numbers into something people will actually want to read. Infographics in particular are a easy way to engage your audience as they get across key information and messages in a way that is simple and interesting to look at.
Some great uses for infographics include:
- Data or reports
- Instructions or lists
We’ve created plenty of infographics for our clients, so we’ve picked up a few tips along the way. Here is what you need to know to create infographics that really engage your audience.
Get to know your data
Our Junior Designer Holly says, “the goal of an infographic is to get a message across to the user as fast as possible.” To do this, she says, you have to keep it straight to the point and take out any irrelevant or uninteresting data.
The best way to keep your infographic simple and focussed is by getting to know your data before you get carried away with creative ideas (we know how tempting it is!). Taking time to understand your data will give you a clearer idea of your design and help you to create infographics that say something meaningful, but not doing do will make your finished product lack direction.
We suggest that instead of reading the data over and over (that’s one way to send yourself to sleep!), try putting it into a spreadsheet. Spend time creating basic graphs, or using filters to find interesting trends. This will help you to find out what bits of data are interesting, and what bits of data aren’t.
Let the data do the talking
Perhaps the most crucial rule to follow when you create infographics is to let the data do the talking. Don’t approach your infographic with an idea already in your mind of what you want it to tell the world – not only could this be misleading, but the quality of your infographic could be diminished by substandard evidence. A great infographic not only looks good, but tells a good story, and most good stories are inspired by truth.
Have a plan
Although they look simple, there’s actually many planning elements involved when you create infographics. Once you’ve got to know your data a little bit, you need to make sure you have a clear plan for how you’re going to use it. Start by considering things such as your target audience, what you want your infographic to say, and how you’re going to use it. You can then start to plan how your infographic is going to look.
“A good infographic has to be simple but clear”, says Holly. Her advice on creating a clear and easy to understand infographic is to plan the structure carefully. Make sure that each piece of data or content follows on from the previous one and that it makes sense, and consider using wireframes to map out your design. These will help you to visualise how your infographic is going to look, as well as save you time in the design stages.
One of our infographics for SCVO
Choose the right visuals
Having the right visuals is the make or break of your infographic, and there’s several things you must consider before you get stuck in with designing.
Digital Glue’s Creative Director Ben says that a good infographic is always eye catching. Consider how you’re going to draw your audience in when they first look – if your infographic is too cluttered, it will be too difficult to read, but too sparse and it won’t draw your audience’s attention. A good way to keep the balance is to remember to always present your data in a way that isn’t complicated – if a pie chart best represents your findings, then use a pie chart! You should also stick to using the same style throughout, as a chaotic infographic is likely to be distracting.
“Also,” Holly adds, ” remember to consider the colour blind by ensuring that your visuals don’t blend into one. You can do this by choosing colours that contrast and stand out against each other”.
Don’t be afraid to get creative
However, making sure that your infographic is simple doesn’t mean that you always have to take the expected route – an infographic also offers the opportunity to get creative. Ben says that the first thing he asks when he creates infographics is “is this visually stimulating?”. He also says that you should also consider pushing beyond the traditional notion of a jpeg infographic.
When designing an infographic, remember ask yourself what can I do to make my infographic stand out? Could you create an interactive map? Could your infographic include moving elements, such as GIFs? We turned one of our infographics into a simple animation for one of our clients, which gave it an additional exciting element.
MailChimp’s annual report
We were also particularly impressed when MailChimp’s latest annual report landed in our inbox recenty – its creative nature just proves that an infographic has so much potential!
Make use of it!
When you create infographics, you want them to be seen. Share your infographic on social media (where others can share it with their networks too – just be sure to brand it up!), or use your infographic to support your PR. The great thing about infographics is that people want to read and share them, so make sure you make use of your work!
Do you need to turn your data into a snazzy infographic? Get in touch with Digital Glue and we’ll tell you how we can help!