Infographics have quite suddenly become all the rage in the design world. So suddenly, in fact, that ‘infographic’ isn’t even an official word in the dictionary (little red squiggly lines will annoyingly stain this document throughout its creation). An infographic (officially deemed an informational graphic) should express one idea very well allowing readers to quickly digest and understand complicated information. As a presenter, it’s a good idea to become well versed in this relatively new craze that is most likely here to stay. Here are a few tips on how to create an effective infographic.
Tell a Story
We should get one thing straight right off the bat. Infographics are not graphs. They aren’t charts and they aren’t lists. An infographic tells a story with illustrations and graphics. Sure, they can employ graphs, charts, and lists but story is an inherent part of an infographic.
Make sure that the design of your infographic reveals something about the topic at hand. If you’re creating an infographic about global warming, for example, be sure to use design elements that speak to the environment and the world. Design your infographic in a way that it tells a story simply by looking at it.
Simplicity Reigns Supreme
As always in the world of presentations, simplicity is king. Narrow your focus by choosing just one question to answer with each infographic. Don’t try stuffing a gazillion ideas into one infographic. That’s a surefire way to maximize complexity and minimize simplicity, which is precisely the opposite of what you want to do.
Avoid using legends or keys. Don’t make viewers hunt for information. Don’t make them look up and down and around and this way and that way. This isn’t “Where’s Waldo?” The flow of an infographic should be intuitive. Ideally, viewers should start at the top and simply follow it down until the end. Minimal text is ideal; the design should say it all.
Start Making Sense
Another crucial consideration when creating an infographic is ensuring that the data included is entirely accurate. If one number is 3 times larger than another and you want to show the difference in the sizes of circles, you must make sure to create a circle that is accurately three times larger than the other. An infographic loses its meaning entirely if the data is not accurately depicted. Don’t be misleading, and never deceive viewers in your depiction of data.
Also, be as transparent as possible. Make citations easy to find, and be open and honest with where you found the information featured in the infographic. Not only should you have nothing to hide if you’re presenting data accurately, but you lend much more credibility to your infographic if the source is there looking viewers straight in the face.
Infographic is the new buzzword in the land of designers and creatives, and it looks like they’re here to stay. Embrace this new method to disseminate information, and with the aforementioned tips you’ll be able to create an effective infographic for your next presentation. Happy infographing!
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