Between 2010 and 2012, searches for infographics increased by 800%*. If you’d asked someone six years ago what an infographic was, they probably wouldn’t have known. Yet now, it would be farcical to admit you’re not utilising infographics in some way – but how and why do they work?
What are Infographics?
An infographic is a visual representation of information or data – a good infographic can be worth a thousand words.
Considering their popularity, we’re surprised that the word ‘Infographic’ isn’t even the Collins dictionary, yet it has made it into the ‘word suggestion’ list for the next edition.
As a general rule, infographics should either be fun, entertaining or informative – ideally all three! If they aren’t any of these, much like most content, it shouldn’t be published.
Here’s one we made earlier – TWA’s recipe for great content in three easy steps.
How Do They Work?
Accordingly to research by education resource company, LifeLearn.com, when people hear information, they’re only likely to remember 10% of it three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information in the same timeframe.
Humans are, by nature, very visual beings, and LifeLearn claims that 30% of our brains are engaged when looking at something visual, compared to just 8% for touch and 3% for hearing.
Mathematics aside, an infographic is much easier to consume especially with the limited and ever decreasing attention spans of our digital generation. With so much of our brains dedicated to visuals, it seems the logical option to when presenting information.
Infographics help break through the noise on social. The competition online is vast and one effective infographic, which is easily consumed and shareable, can penetrate competitor barriers.
Furthermore, infographics are a perfect way to demonstrate complicated information in a simple way. Trying to summarise how charities can capture Gift Aid and generate revenue from donated goods, for example, isn’t easy or quick to explain. Yet, a simple infographic does the job much more effectively.
When Infographics Don’t Work
Yes we love infographics, but not all achieve their set purpose. Simply combining any text and images is not enough to effectively communicate a message. Your infographic needs to be relevant to its intended audience, as irrelevant visuals will be overlooked.
They also need to be effective – an infographic may look beautiful, but some often sacrifice legibility for appearance. If your reader struggles to make sense of the jumble of words and images then you have failed to get your message across, no matter how pretty it looks.
Three Simple Rules
Infographics can be a great way to connect with your audience. A well-designed infographic can catch the eye, break down complex information and present it in a way that is understandable and directly applicable to the audience.
And remember – only share an infographic if it’s fun, entertaining or informative.
February 19, 2016 - This article was written by Jenny Woolley