The internet is riddled with infographics. Some of them are amazing, a lot of them are just plain horrible. When it comes to infographics, there is nothing better than well designed, well thought out and inspiring information that draws you in for a good few minutes and really gets you thinking, spurring you on to share it. This is what we are all aiming for. The trouble is there are so many low quality, badly designed infographics out there that have purely been created in an attempt to gain links for SEO value, giving infographics a bad name. There is still an enormous demand for well thought out and beautifully designed infographics that add genuine value.
So what exactly is an infographic?
An infographic is a visual representation of information and data. They are a really useful tool to present vast amounts of data in a visual way, making complicated information easy to digest and easy to understand. A great infographic captures the imagination. It grabs the viewers attention, stopping them from flitting away as quickly as they arrived. Without this all you do is contribute to the ever increasing trash piles that reside in the dark corners of the web.
So what exactly makes a good infographic?
Well, there are two main ingredients to a good infographic. Information and design. You must have interesting, relevant and accurate information with design that is beautiful and eye catching while maintaining functionality, making it easy to understand and use.
The Information is Beautiful site features some truly incredible infographics which are both beautifully simple and delightfully effective. David McCandless is passionate about visualizing data and information, while using as few words as possible. He has a knack of cutting out the confusion and simplifying the data.
Here are some pointers to bear in mind when designing an infographic:
Less is more, nobody wants to read endless text. Use visuals wherever possible to portray the information.
Think outside the box, utilise different ways to convey the thoughts like illustrations, photos, visual elements. Remember that the infographic needs to flow, it needs to read like a story.
Colour, it is strongly advisable to stick to a complimentary colour palette. It is important to create a visually appealing graphic, too many clashing and contrasting colours will be unpleasant to look at. It is amazing what a difference it can make!
Of course don’t forget that rules are made to be broken. Don’t confine yourself too much, use the rules to guide you.
Taking it to the next level are Interactive infographics. When done right these can be incredibly successful gaining huge popularity and shares. The Scale of the Universe and Breathing Earth are certainly worth a look, but beware you might be looking at them for some time!