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Benefits of Using Infographics

Information graphics, or Infographics as they are commonly known, has become the most popular and effective tool for online communication. This term refers to the graphical or visual representation of any information or data. Graphics have been in use, even before the advent of technology; however, the presence of online tools has definitely made it easier and simpler today. Just like people use graphs and diagrams in real life, they can be added to online presentations as well. Rather than explaining or presenting something in written form you can use attractive graphs and graphics.

A careful observation of the world around you can tell you that how popular and appealing the graphics are in today’s digital world. It has been noticed that short and clearly written information, with interesting graphics is more appealing than lengthy texts. But what makes Infographics so popular?

Their immense popularity can be credited to the following features:

· Pictures are easy to notice: Pictures or graphics are easier to notice, as compared to words, just like a book with pictures is more liked by children and adults alike, rather than lengthy text.

· Enhance the appeal of content: Plain text stretching over the whole page requires time and attention, which can put off many people. However graphics present the information clearly without you having to spend any time on reading.

· Easy representation of statistical data: Facts and figures enhance the credibility factor and thus they are strategically added to make people aware of the reliability of information. Reading the figures can seem very tiresome, whereas graphical representation can facilitate data visualization by presenting the same data in a more understandable way.

· Simplify the subject matter: Reading lengthy text to understand the data is a very complex and unattractive task. Graphics can present the same subject matter in a more orderly and simplified way, thus making it extremely easy for the readers to read and understand the given information.

· Stimulates reader’s interest: Attractive Infographics design and clever use of colors can help you put across your point more successfully. That is why graphics are considered to be more effective in catching the attention of readers instead of text.

· Easy sharing and recording of information: Graphics enable you to present the information in a more digestible way. It makes sharing and recording of such information easier.

Today’s digital age has made it extremely important to capture the attention of the users, to convey your message effectively. With increasing distractions and decreasing attention span of the users, it is becoming difficult to capture their attention. Visual representation is an interesting and appealing way of data visualization.

There are numerous ways in which you can use the graphics to enhance the effectiveness of your text. Making it a part of your annual business reports will not only appeal your associates but can also save a lot of your time and efforts by making data visualization easier. Including attractive and easy to understand Infographics design in your research reports can help you present your findings more effectively. You will not have to spend time explaining each and every finding, when it is clearly present in the form of a graph or chart. Enterprises, world over, have realized that in order to make the desired impact on the minds of their consumers, they will have to incorporate Infographics in their marketing strategies. The cut-throat competition that prevails in the marketing and advertising world today has further enhanced this need. In such scenario, graphics are undoubtedly the most eye-catching and effective way of attracting consumers rather than plain text.

Apart from these, the graphics can be used anytime when you want to make the information or presentation more engaging and noticeable. Some factors should be kept in mind while using the Infographics design to present your data or information in an attractive and sophisticated way.

· Keep it simple: Try to keep it as simple as possible. The idea behind using graphics is that they are easy to scan and understand. Using complication graphics or too many colors can make them look complex, thus hampering its effectiveness.

· Choose appropriate form:Infographics can include many graphical forms, like maps, graphs, flow charts, diagrams etc. The choice of graphical form will depend on your topic or the type of information that you need to present.

· Visual appeal: Keep the visual appeal in mind when using graphics or pictures. They should be simple yet appealing, to catch the attention of online users.

It is clear, that Infographics design is a powerful and effective medium for data visualization and to present information in a more organized form. The popularity of online graphics can be attributed to their effectiveness and appeal. Visual graphics are better and more easily understood than just words. Owing to its numerous benefits, using the graphics has become a need today, which can help you get the desired effect from your content.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Creating a Compelling Infographic

While relevant and regularly updated online content like blogs, articles, and press releases continue to be crucial components in optimizing your website, there are other highly effective forms of communication that draws in consumer attention to your business.

One of these forms is the infographic, which appeals to the ever-growing crowd of online browsers who connect to more visual methods of learning.

Short for “information graphic,” an infographic is defined as the visual representation of information. Visualization is a powerful tool-the millions spent on creating movie posters to market films is proof of that. But infographics are more than just posters with graphs on it. A well-crafted infographic should be able to convey a complex concept in an easily understood, visually appealing way.

Decidedly, there is a trick to designing a successful infographic, which is why it has become a career option. There are endless lists of what makes an infographic successful vs. just a poster with graphs, but here are a handful of do’s and don’ts that will help you with the basics of designing your own infographic.

DO tell a story. Like a good story, infographics should have clear beginning, middle, and end. Introduce the thesis, problem, or purpose of the infographic at the top, or beginning. Support your thesis with data-this is where well-designed charts and graphs come in. Then, end the infographic with a final conclusion.

DO communicate complex data simply and attractively. If a consumer is just as confused by your infographic as they would be by the list of data it is supposed to represent, then a visual isn’t doing its job. Think about your audience and develop a simple, yet creative way to convey the same information so that the consumer can digest it easier.

DO make social media sharing easy. Social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are valuable gateways into the next level of marketing. Designing infographics that can be easily shared through these sites is one of the best ways you can improve the online visibility of your company. So keep them simple and make them attractive-that is the best way to encourage sharing.

DO NOT tell when you can show instead. Writers are taught never to describe through exposition when you can illustrate through character dialogue. Similarly, in an infographic you should never tell when it can be displayed visually instead. That’s the purpose of an infographic after all, is it not?

DO NOT rely on typography too much. A common crutch designers rely on to make information stand out is using alternative typography. While different fonts can be great for highlighting certain data, overusing it can detract from the cohesiveness of the design.

DO NOT use every color you can think of. Rather than make your infographic look like a rainbow exploded on it, use color palettes that complement the message of the visual.

The best rule to follow when developing an infographic is to keep it simple. Successful visual designs take detailed and complicated data and present it in a form that is easily understood by consumers.

Furthermore, answer the questions of purpose, goal, and relevance before you develop an infographic for your website or client.

While there is plenty more that goes into developing a successful infographic, keeping these concepts in mind is a good start.

How to Create a Powerful Infographic When You Do Not Have a Designer

Infographics are a powerful way to visually communicate information, to share knowledge and convey a story. Infographics can easily communicate complex information in a clear and concise manner at a single glance. Infographics are typically put together by a designer who takes the elements that need to be communicated and then builds a graphic description of that information that instantly communicates the story behind the numbers in a creative and interesting visual manner. If you do not have the budget, desire, or time to involve a graphic designer in this creative visual storytelling process, there are seven important steps that can make anyone an infographics expert.

1. Collect accurate information

The first step required to prepare an infographic is to gather high quality source information from reliable sources. An infographic is only as good as its supporting information. Once this information has been obtained and verified, the infographic can be designed to effectively tell the story.

As part of the information gathering, one must know the subject matter area, target audience, communication objective, and message that one intends to deliver.

2. Select best tool for infographic construction

Finding the right tool for the job can sometimes be tricky. Developing sophisticated and effective infographics can require toolsthat may span many different products. Fortunately, the right software tool can provide you with everything you need to create polished diagrams that beautifully and accurately represent your story, no matter how complex it may be.

3. Structure infographic story

Research the collected information, and determine the key points of your message. Clearly label key points and organize information flow by defining the sequence of visual events in your storyline that form a single story arc.

A visual story should have three visually separated parts: beginning, middle, and end. The beginning attracts attention of one’s target audience and introduces the story. The middle holds the attention of audience and explains your story topic in detail. The ending contains conclusions and completes your visual story for the audience.

Use visuals to maximize the impact of your message and reduce the time it takes to explain your ideas and concepts. These visuals may include both information visualization and decorative graphic design elements such as charts, graphs, diagrams, schemes, maps, plans, clipart, pictograms, drawings, and photos.

Use a minimal amount of text to enhance the impact and transform your visuals into a solid self-contained infographic story.

4. Select relevant visuals to convey message

Determine how to arrange contents visually
To determine how to visually organize contents of your infographic story, you need to decide how the key point must be organized. For example: in a list, a grid, timeline, or calendar, on a geographic map or city plan, into a process diagram or flowchart, statistical analysis, as a hierarchy, a network, or as a cloud.

Optimize your infographics for output devices
Explore what output devices will be used by target audience to see your infographics. It may severely limit the size of your infographics and visuals used, especially in case of smartphones and tablets. For mobile devices, use space-saving graphic design elements.

On other hand, if you plan display your infographics onto a large displays or large printout, it is best to use vector graphics for high quality image scaling.

You have to take this into account when you select and layout the visuals.

Select graphic design elements
You should select graphic design elements for visualization that correspond with collected information for your story.

Each visualized piece of information should explain a single, easy to understand idea. Each graphic design element should communicate one message clearly.

Avoid repetitive visuals. Use different visuals and color labeling for different key points.

Use creative design elements to maximize the impact of your infographics. But remember, each of your visuals must be clear and should enhance your message.

To quickly and easily select clear and creative visuals for your infographics, use libraries of pre-designed vector graphic design elements.

5. Explain complex ideas simply

Main messages of key points and the overall narrative of the whole story must be clear in seconds for target audience.

Represent information graphically
Use:
images of story subjects as markers of visuals and text blocks.
images of well-known people, objects and things for quick recognition.
common graphical symbols and pictograms instead of words in data labels and legends.
pictoral charts instead of bar or line charts to better demonstrate quantitative data.
background image that indicate basic subject matter of your story.
short talking points in headlines and captions.
short talking points in the page title, headlines for key points, text blocks, and captions for visuals to quickly explain main messages of your visual story.
Be selective in the type you use
Use up to three fonts in your infographics to make your infographics easy to view and read.

Minimize scrolling
To keep your story easy to digest, try to limit document length and the number of content elements.

Be sure that each content element conveys one simple idea that is easy to understand at a glance.

Choose only the most essential content elements to explain the main message of your story.

If your document is still too long, try to use space-saving graphic elements and arrangement.

6. Show concrete information

If you present time-oriented data in your infographics, give the audience an impression of the newest information with the most modern design.

Label date and time
Clearly show the dates and times in your infographic document and make sure each content element presents actual data.

Refresh infographics as source information changes
To keep your infographic current, design it so that it is easy to refresh. so you can quickly change content elements when time-sensitive source information changes. The easiest way to quickly refresh data is by using auto-refreshing graphic elements.For example: auto-refreshing charts, graphic indicators for visual dashboards, or meteorological graphic indicators from weather informers.

Modern and event-driven design
For infographics that show dynamic time-sensitive information, use modern design in conjunction with events-related symbols and images to present a fresh and stylish ambiance.

7. Provide sharing

You create your infographics to present to target audience. To access your audience, you can use web and paper publishing, references on social networks, displays at public events and meetings, e-mail distribution, etc.

For example:

Publish your infographics on your website or blog. Add sharing features on your web page.
Publish your infographics to subject-specific e-magazines, websites, blogs and social networking groups where your target audience is concentrated.
Create account and subject-specific board on Pinterest.com, and submit your infographics.
Show your infographics on display boards at public events that the target audience is likely to visit.
Show your infographics at subject- specific meetings as a printed poster on a stand or as a presentation using a projector.
Proliferate your infographics using e-mail.
Announce your infographics via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.
To easily share your infographics, create them using vector graphics software tools that allow you to save in file formats and have the capability to share through different distribution channels – web sites, blogs, social networks, email, printing in different sizes, presentations using a projector, showing on board displays.

On the web pages of your website or blog,where the infographics are published, add sharing features like, “Tweet”, “Pin it”, “Share”, or “Send via email” buttons to allow readers to announce and share your infographics on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook, or via email.

Follow these 7 simple steps above to create actual, impressive, and convincing infographics that visually tell your complex story quickly and simply.