Infographics are all the rage. In a few short years, they’ve become the preferred means of explaining complex ideas and stories to customers. But what should yours look like? Should it be fun and feature cartoons, or serious and delineate the story through a series of facts and stark images? Take a look at the following infographic tips below to find out.
Tip #1: Decide on a Vibe and Go with It
Consider the infographic?s vibe this is a combination of tone, message and attitude, which are predicated on the intended audience. If your infographic is designed to teach people the Heimlich Maneuver, and when and how to recognize when someone is choking, then the vibe should be serious, but easily digested so that someone can look at it and instantly know what to do. If your infographic tells the story and history of golf, then a fun and colorful portrayal of the sport and how it relates to your brand or golf product strikes the right vibe with customers.
Tip #2: Connect the Dots with Clarity and Purpose
The greatest mistake you can make when creating an infographic is to lose the plot to confuse the reader by not effectively telling them where to go next in the storyline. This mistake happens more than most would care to admit. Remember: readers are not as familiar with the story as you are. Each stage and development in the infographic must be obvious and connected by well-designated arrows, connective lines, or some form of communication that links the plot development in sensible, easy-to-follow ways. Confusing infographics annoy readers, and instead of treating it like a puzzle to be solved, they’ll simply move past it.
Tip #3: Don’t Be Boring
Though infographics are a popular form of storytelling remember: no one likes a boring story. The elements of storytelling in an infographic involve a nuanced balance between words and images, and neither should put the reader to sleep. Before beginning to create an infographic, you and your designer should have already decided on a color scheme that is pleasant on the eyes and complements not just the copy, but also the other colors being used. Complementing colors light blue, dark blue, and various shades of blue, for example work best, as the continuity of color helps to create a coherent narrative. The copywriting should also have personality and pop within the infographic, and not simply read like directions for assembling a grill. Infographics should be entertaining, and that begins with design.
Tip #4: Don’t Be Like Times Square
Infographics that are too loud, busy, or bright confuse people, and no one likes that. Successful infographics communicate information, and this means appealing to people in a comforting and accessible way. Some designers make the mistake of thinking that bright colors and busy graphics gain the attention of people and they do. But bright colors and busy graphics don’t hold the attention of people, which results in infographic failure. Stories require a commitment on the part of the reader, and infographics that bowl them over with a sensory overload of complex imagery and loud colors will cause readers to give up and move on to an activity that doesn’t hurt their brain or eyes. Engagement shouldn?t be fleeting; infographics are about telling stories to individuals, and not marketing products to crowds of pedestrians.
Tip #5: Numbers, Numbers, Numbers
Keep in mind that readers love and remember numbers, which makes infographics ideal platforms for telling stories that involve data. Numbers should be prominently displayed so that they’re among the first images a reader sees when glancing over data and copy. Infographics often relay consumer statistics (i.e. 80% of duck hunters wear sunglasses?) or other important data for example, ?127,000 people are injured every year while crossing the street in flip-flops?. The quirkier the data, the more compelling it is to readers. In an infographic, savvy designers realize that numbers are just as important as aesthetics.
For more detail on specific design tips, see this article on How to design a successful infographic.