Wait, are infographics still a thing?
It’s hard enough getting your team to turn out text, but the effort and time that goes into developing an infographic can leave you wondering if they are worth it. Yes, says Art Director Cameron Jones. They really are. Here’s why.
Infographics is a word you’ll have started to hear (and see) a lot and there are good reasons why. With growing interest in data-driven insights, and the challenges of presenting large amounts of information in a digestible way, turning any large numbers into a visual feast is a good idea.
In an infographic, information, illustrations and graphic design combine to communicate a series of ideas, simplify complex data, or convey an abstract concept.
National Geographic has been doing it for years but others are rapidly getting on board.
Social media works particularly well for visual imagery, and so Twitter in particular has helped push these new forms to the mainstream. Today, they’re an effective, normalised way to present complex information.
There are even infographics about infographics.
Prior to finding acceptance at the corporate level, there were plenty of unusual and somewhat silly infographics.
Examples include the somewhat ironic Avoiding Distractions infographic or the How Much Does it Cost to be Batman in Real Life infographic [Spoiler: $139m in 2013 dollars]. But this helped the format become popular, and international brands now use them to ensure their information is seen and remembered. This one from Nespresso is a great example. Some infographics receive hundreds of thousands of views, clicks and shares, bringing with them lucrative brand awareness and sales leads.
In terms of corporate uptake, The Economist has been one of the forerunners, using infographics to convey a complex world of economic issues which would otherwise be hard to do with text alone. It even has a blog dedicated to this role, cleverly called Graphic Detail. Other companies like Deloitte use infographics to promote its research findings and get its data to new audiences. Because this research is often based on datasets, infographics are ideal as a user interface tool to help customers or employees manipulate information to reveal new findings.
This is all well and good, but how can you take this and apply it to your business? Communication can take many forms, and infographics should be seen as just another (important) tool you can call upon to successfully spread a message. They make difficult or confusing concepts easier and quicker to understand.
Digital natives are part of your workforce and clientele. They have grown up using screens as instinctive communication tools. Visual communications are the norm, not just because they are on trend but because they’re more effective than a set of dot points.
If you feel yourself edging towards another dull PowerPoint presentation, question whether you could present your data in a more visually interesting, memorable and effective way.