Infographics – 5 ways to stop the rot

July 12, 2012 8:41 am

We like infographics but most are plain terrible. I bet you feel the same way.

They can be used in stunning and cute ways and I challenge anyone not to be impressed by the work of David McCandless and his book Information is Beautiful.

But all that’s in the 1%.

There are more tools than ever out there that aim to take the creation of infographics out of the hands of designers.

But that can all go horribly wrong, whether for design reasons or lack of content.

We’ve mentioned infodoodles more than once now on our @ColContent Twitter feed. But they’re essentially different.

How can infographics be saved from themselves? Here are five basic tips to make sure that at least you can get yours right.

  1. KISS – that’s Keep It Simple Stupid. A cardinal sin is to try to cram too much in. Elegant is good. One topic is best.
  2. Won’t someone think about the bloggers? A good infographic is sharable. That doesn’t just mean linking to it from Twitter, Facebook etc. but allowing bloggers to embed it. Embrace this – it’s good for the blogger, good for their audience, which is becoming your audience, and so good for you. Win – win – win.
  3. Make embedding easy. Is your infographic the right width for most blog streams? Is it a small file, not about to increase a web page’s payload drastically? Include embed code. Explicitly say ‘Share this infographic’.
  4. Fewer words. How much of what you’re creating is graphical and how much is written, mainly copied from text elsewhere? CC:UK loves words – but generally not in infographics. The clue is in the name.
  5. Data, data, data. Explain, sure, but include facts. Infographics are a great way to represent otherwise complex findings, for example from surveys. Ask McCandless.

Do you have any comments on this or tips for infographics? Please share below.

Image Factors Considered in Rating Content Sources by Jon Gosier used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic (CC by 2.5).

Follow us on Twitter – @ColContent

Tagged with