Recently, my Twitter feed, Facebook newsfeed, LinkedIn updates and even Pinterest activity stream are inundated by infographics. Perhaps I just haven’t noticed before, but doesn’t it seem like every other “report” is now represented graphically? Don’t misunderstand, I like infographics, and they fit the American mantra of, “I need information and I need it now!” But like most things, there is a right time and a right place.
As an information hungry consumer, I present a few tips on improving your infographics.
1. Not everything is easier to understand in pictures.
While “a picture is worth a thousand words” sometimes you can get your point across easier by actually using the words. Charts and visuals are meant to compliment words. Some things are just too complicated to say with pictures alone.
2. Interactive isn’t always a plus.
I recently came across an infographic explaining the world’s debt crisis, which is a pretty hefty concept. The infographic was interactive and by clicking on different parts of the graphic, it displayed different information. Well, it took me 20 minutes to go through all of the different elements. That information could have been better captured using a simple chart. So just because you can, that doesn’t mean you should.
3. Make them user-friendly.
One of the more valuable characteristics of infographics in general is that they present information really well on tablets. It’s much more appealing to see an infographic on my iPad if I don’t have to constantly zoom in, zoom out, slide left and right.
So, keep the infographics coming. I enjoy seeing information presented in creative and innovative ways. But do think about what you’re going to say and what the best way to say it is before you slap together a bunch of seemingly related graphics and call it an infographic.