Infographics are visualizations of data that can help audiences quickly grasp complex sets of ideas. The key to a good infographic design is to find interesting and reliable data, and then come up with an awesome blueprint and visual story to deliver the underlying message. Infographics have become an extremely popular form of content marketing that can reward a site with quality backlinks and tons of new traffic, but what separates the really good infographics from the rest? Proper development.
This project doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, many of you have been doing this all of your careers. All we are doing here is applying statistics in a graphical way.Finding the stats is the hard part. Putting it together in a meaningful way is the easy part. With that in mind, here are some step-by-step instructions for you to follow.
Step 1: Pick your Concept and Topic
You can use one of the following topic to analyze, if you choose. Or you can choose one of your own. Above all, find one that speaks to you. You will find more passion and that will come through in your work. Avoid topics that are hard to research or don’t have many statistics to use.
- How is information technology changing healthcare?
- Top 10 technologies that are changing the classroom
- Top 10 Hashtags trending on Twitter
- Top 10 TV Shows trending on Social Media
- Top Five Best Selling Car models with sales data
- How much would it Cost to be Ironman in real life?
- Just Who Use Social Media? A demographic Breakdown
- 40 years of Cell Phone History
- Top 10 reasons why cats are better than men
- Top 10 reasons why dogs are better than women
- Who’s using Netflix?
- Top Five Ways to Attract and Retain Mobile Consumers
- What does today’s wireless family look like?
- The Art of Buying a Car/Television/Home
- Sales of iPhone vs Samsung vs. Blackberry vs. Nokia
- How do Teachers use technology in the classroom?
- NFL/MLB/NHL stats about your favorite team
- What is the value of a customer on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
- Top Ten best moments in Television history
- Top Ten Social Media Moments of 2012
- Which Tech Companies made the most money in 2012?
- Top Ten largest companies by market cap/stock price/customers/sales
- Top Five Side Dishes for Thanksgiving
The list goes on and on.
Step 2: Do your research.
This is the single most important step. It doesn’t matter how awesome your infographic looks if your numbers are incorrect. Additionally, the numbers and data need to tell a story, not just present facts. It is not enough to just put the data out there and allow the user to draw their own conclusions. Communication is a two-way street. It requires a speaker and a listener. You want to draw the listener/user to the conclusion you desire, not their own.
With that in mind, the infographic needs to have at least the following elements.
Include at least five different statistical facts that you use to draw the user to your viewpoint. Don’t overdo it. Remember that the data should not get in the way of the story.
Use well-researched data. This data must be documented and developed professionally. List the variable used, samples, etc. Give the information in a way that others could follow your procedure, replicate it, and find the same conclusion you did.ALL SOURCES MUST BE CITED IN APA FORMAT.
Step 3: Graphics.
Make the graphics tasteful and consistent. Use a theme to achieve this. Let the folks who do this for a living guide your hand. As an example, if you were doing an infographic about FedEx, you would use pictures of FedEx planes, Trucks, etc. The colors should be Red, White, and Blue since the corporate colors are those.
An infographic should be though of as a cognitive tool for understanding, an extension of our visual system. It is a consequence of this that the form should match the function and task it is supposed to help complete.
Ask yourself, “What do I want my user to get from this graphic? What do I want them to do with it?”
Step 4: Build the infographic
Again, use one of the tools available to you. Don’t reinvent the wheel here. Instead, use the time to do your spelling and grammar checking.
Step 5: Present the infographic
Be professional. Be informative. Be concise. And above all, have fun.
Remember, an infographic is a visual presentation of evidence, not just a pretty picture.