What You Need to Know About Infographics
Making information more visual
The word infographics has become one of the most used buzzwords in recent times, and naturally, more and more people are jumping on that bandwagon.
What exactly is an infographic anyway?
Wikipedia says: "Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge. These graphics present complex information quickly and clearly, such as in signs, maps, journalism, technical writing, and education. With an information graphic, computer scientists, mathematicians, and statisticians develop and communicate concepts using a single symbol to process information."
In short, infographics are merely another way of presenting information (text and numbers), with the focus on visual elements.
Bearing that in mind, it is not surprising at all that infographics have become so popular. After all, it seems that people of our day lean toward images (as opposed to long form) more and more. While some may find that trend upsetting, one can hardly deny it.
I personally think there is nothing wrong with infographics becoming very popular as long as those who create them remember that the bottom line is to present quality content to the readers. That being said, let us take a closer look at what infographics are. Maybe, just maybe, we can create better quality infographics to offset the loads of junk that seem to permeate the Internet.
What are infographics? An infographic about infographics
This is so meta, to be honest, but this particular infographic design contains a whole lot of information in one handy reference so I think it serves the purposes of this hub the best.
NOTE: The image is only a thumbnail of the original infographic, so I suggest clicking on it to see all the information.
So this basically serves as an introduction to those who may not be entirely sure how infographics work and why they can be beneficial to bloggers, writers, marketers, and a whole lot of other professions.
I suppose that the first thing that you think of when confronted with the idea of infographics is "eye candy". You are right! Of course, it should be a given that the infographic is well designed.
Based on this particular infographic, here are other reasons to use infographics to get the word out about a product, a service, or a message.
- They're versatile. Most any topic can be presented via this medium.
- They're linkworthy. People like linking to images that catch the eye AND provide valuable information.
- They're controllable. This refers to the creation process. Since you can be part of the creation of your infographic, you have control over the content and the design - even if you outsource the actual creation.
As I just mentioned, you can opt to give infographic creation a try yourself. If you are creative and know how to work software, then it should be relatively easy. On the other hand, you can always opt to have the pros do it. Then again, that will cost you a considerable sum. If you are looking for a creative outlet and a way to get some coverage, here are some helpful tips to get you started on making infographics.
- Conceptualize your message. What do you want to get across?
- Flowcharts are your friends. You don't have to know all the technical symbols. The idea is to know where you start and where you end, as well as how to get there.
- Know your colors! Some people just don't mix and match colors well, but if you want you infographic to be a success, make sure you get the right combinations.
- Graphics and images - be selective and make sure that they match the message you want to get across.
- Get your facts straight. Infographics are eyecatching because of the images, but they will not go anywhere if your data/information is incorrect or inaccurate. Do your research, back up your statements with data.
How can you use infographics effectively?
Whether you create your own infographics or you commission someone else to make them for you, the goal is the same: to have something of high quality to get your message across.
I think that there is nothing wrong with infographics per se. Some important points to bear in mind when using infographics:
- Look at quality. Just because you can make an infographic (or can have one made) does not mean it will provide quality content. It is up to you to ensure that.
- Don't overdo it. Unless your site or blog is all about infographics, inundate your readers with infographics every single time you post.
- Promote your infographic. It is not enough to simply have one made. Just like with other types of content, you need to do a little bit of work to get some exposure. Blog about it. Tweet about it. Share it on Facebook. Submit it to infographic sites. Get the word out.