If the Internet is one thing, it is visual. People love quick, easily accessible information and infographics provide just that type of data visualization. Even complex data is easier to understand when combines with a pie chart, graph or photograph. According to an, you guessed it, infographic by Top Marketing Schools, an infographic has the potential to reach about 15 million people. Authentic.ly had this to say about infographics:
“Infographics gained popularity in the mid-2000′s with the advent of sites like Digg and Reddit, and have quickly become one of the most popular methods to display researched data.”
What Is an Infogaphic?
An infographic has both images and text, but the text is extremely condensed and the graphics provide additional information. The best infographics are easy to read and digest. Remember that newspapers and magazines allow white space in their publications to give readers’ eyes a break. Yes, it is good to provide a lot of high quality information in your infographic, but you don’t want your reader to walk away with a headache or to think how bad their eyes hurt.
Remember that a good infographic is just more than the elements of information, statistics and icons. It should also look appealing. If you are uncertain, ask a friend or colleague for feedback on how it looks and if it is easy to understand. A second set of eyes is almost always a good idea. After all, you know exactly how you want your infographic to look and what you want it to say. Because of that knowledge, you might see the infographic the way you think it should be rather than how it actually is.
Keep in mind these good design elements:
- Stay away from fonts that are so swirly or unusual that they are difficult to read and try to use no more than two or three fonts in a single infographic.
- Stay away from neon or harsh colors that hurt the eyes. The average person is online at least 13 hours a week and that doesn’t include time spent reading text messages, work time, watching television and reading printed material. Our eyes get a workout, so take it easy on your readers and make your colors soothing.
- Be focused. Choose a topic and stick with it. Don’t start an infographic on how many dogs are owned in the US and add in information on how many people own monkeys.
Three Types of InfoGraphics
When it comes to infographics, there are different ways you can create them. In addition to the three types listed below, you can also make an infographic in different sizes. It can be long and vertical or horizontal. You can even make a square infographic. Look at what others are sharing on their websites and social media sites. What shape and size are those infographics? Pinterest is a popular location for infographics. Do a search on infographics and see what people are sharing most often.
In the timeline infographic, information is laid out chronologically. Some topics that are well served with this format include:
- Company history
- Event calendar
- Growth patterns (can be combined with a bar chart)
Infographic credit: Pow Wow Now
Graphs are a popular way to depict statistical information. If you have a lot of technical data to break down for readers, graphs can create a visual representation that makes the info easy to digest.
Infographic credit: Four Square
Need to create a map that shows directions to your headquarters or perhaps of interesting locations in an area? Infographics are great as maps. You’ll also see these used for educational infographics, such as a representation of the food chain. Example, the plant grows here, the herbivore eats the plant, the carnivore eats the herbivore, etc.
Infographic credit: Twitter Territory
Easily Create Without a Designer
You may be wondering if creating an infographic requires special skills. The good news is that it does not – you too can make beautiful charts and infographics with the help of some online tools. In the past, you had to either be or hire a graphic designer to come up with an infographic and save it into a web friendly format that you could then put on your site. However, there are some easy to use, and even free, programs you can now use to get this same information to your readers and use the infographic as another tool in your SEO arsenal.
Remember that your site is served well by offering as much quality content as possible for your readers.
Piktochart is free to try. The basic package comes with 7 different themes you can test. This will allow you to see if you like the program or not. There is a Piktochart watermark with the freebies. If you want more themes or plan to create more infographics, then they have two different levels of membership.
- Monthly Pro: Has 100 different themes and 1000s of graphics to choose from. You can export your files into HTML (easy to upload with FTP) or save as an image. No Piktochart watermark logo. This package is $29 per month.
- Annual Pro: This package is the same as Monthly Pro, but you save 50% by paying upfront for the year. This package is $169 per year.
They offer a 60-day money-back guarantee if you don’t like the software.
Infogr.am allows you to create professional-looking informational graphics for your business. Take note of the most interesting ones and figure out how you can repeat with your own information. Infogr.am is so simple to use. Click on the round “Create” button. Choose a layout for your infographic, style preference from a large number of templates and a layout. Upload any images or info you have. With the free version, you can “share” your infographic. If you want to download it for use elsewhere, such as your website, then you’ll need to upgrade to the Pro version. The normal price is $18/month for the Pro version. You will also gain additional design themes.
Google has a lot of powerful tools for web designers. Did you know that you can use Google Charts and create data to share on your website with users? Another advantage? You can use the community forum to ask questions and even share graphics you have created. Others may offer feedback if you’re a little uncertain. One of the big advantages of this site is that you can browse infographics that others have created and learn from their design elements.
According to the Social Science Research Network, about 65% of humans are visual learners. With statistics like that, you can see why infographics are growing in popularity. By adding infographics to your site, you will catch the eye of readers seeking out that topic. People love infographics as an easy way to gather information for reports or information while on the fly.