I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – people today have really short attention spans.. And for good reason. Any human who isn’t living under a rock is inundated daily with information from all angles — social media, email, phones, billboards, tv…and more. So how do you cut through the noise, especially when you have a lot of information you need to communicate? Sometimes the best and most efficient way to present information is with less words, and more visuals. As a designer, one of my favorite methods is infographics.
Infographics are visual representations of data or information that are designed to communicate complex ideas in a way that not only stand out, but are easy to consume. For instance, to summarize everything Sublime Designs Media accomplished in 2022 (which was also our milestone 20th year in business!) I used an infographic rather than a long-winded list or story that was less engaging.
There are a lot of benefits to using an infographic, including:
- Efficiency: Infographics can communicate complex information quickly so it can be easily digested. Some people also retain information better when it’s presented in a visually appealing format.
- Ease of understanding: Infographics are designed to synthesize complex information in a way that can be quickly understood by its audience. This holds especially true when you are trying to communicate a lot of numbers and data to tell a larger story.
- Shareability: When you want to reach as many people as possible, you need something that can be easily shared. Infographics are the perfect tool to use on social media platforms, on websites, in presentations, and other contexts.
If you’ve never put together an infographic before, it might be difficult to know where to start, so let’s break it out:
- Narrow down the topic: The most important first step in creating an infographic is to establish a clear topic — if your infographic is covering too much information, not only will it not be as clear, but it can be confusing and difficult to digest. A narrow topic will help you focus the information and communicate your point more clearly. Once you’ve determined this, pick out the most important information you want and need to communicate within the infographic. What’s the goal of the infographic and what data and information will you need to tell a clear story? Gather it all so you can start with a holistic view of what all needs to be organized.
- Categorize: Once you have all of your information gathered, organize it in the way that makes the most sense, whether that be chronologically, alphabetically, by certain categories, etc. Humans retain information better when it’s properly grouped.
- Pick a design theme: My favorite thing about infographics is that they let you go out of the box and do something different. They allow for creativity! With that said, when creating yours, it’s important to make sure you incorporate your brand. Don’t stray too far, but have fun.
- Choose the layout: A key component to an effective infographic is that it flows well, with information presented cohesively. I’ve seen some infographics that nail this (and have a lot of experience making my own), while I’ve seen others that honestly appear as a big blob of data that are hard to decipher. You want something that’s clear and easy to read, with a path that draws the eye.
- Determine the best visuals: This is where it really starts to get fun (for me, at least). Based on the information you’re communicating, what visuals can you incorporate to support the data and information? Is it photos, illustrations, icons, numbers, phrases? The options are endless.
- Figure out the medium: Lastly, how is it going to be distributed? Do you want to use it on social media? Are you printing it? Will it live on your website? Is it all of the above? The great thing about infographics, as I noted above, is their shareability and versatility of uses.
Suffice to say, infographics are a great (and have I mentioned fun?) way to distill and communicate complex information while grabbing an audience’s attention, without the overwhelm. Information overload isn’t going away anytime soon, but there are ways to navigate it with your audience.
If you’re looking for an expert to help you leverage infographics in a way that shows off your brand and effectively communicates important information, please reach out to Sublime Designs Media at [email protected].