In an increasingly time-pressured world, social media users are much more likely to read an infographic that they see on their newsfeed than a weighty article. Because of this Infographics are becoming a common feature of many of our daily streams of information.
Visual content is on the rise.
News outlets, charities, companies and government agencies have been widespread adapters of the format and research has found that using infographics can increase your web traffic by 12%! This is a simply astounding metric.
However, the most successful infographics provide a killer combination of good design and rich, interesting content. Without further ado, here are ClientsFirst’s top 8 tips for breathtaking infographics.
Create infographics for your target audience
A common mistake that companies make when designing infographics is to try to design an infographic around a topic that they think will be generally popular. This comes at the cost of neglecting your target audience.
The best performing infographics are those which best satisfy gaps in their audience’s knowledge and then fill these gaps with the appropriate information.
When coming up with your topic, keep it relevant, specific and targeted.
The infographic below, made by the Lumina Foundation, has a clear subject and clearly presents its data.
Less is more! Be simple
The clear advantage of infographics over blogs is that they distill advanced ideas into a simple visual format.
If you make your infographic to complex, they lose their edge. They become a form of cognitive overload instead of an ‘Ah, now I understand’ scenario.
Limit the amount of information that they include so that your audience can clearly understand what you are trying to show them.
The strength of the below infographic by Advergize is that it compares global advertising spend from 2012-2015 in an incredibly simple format.
Go easy on the text
When creating an infographic, use text sparingly. The text should work with the graphics in a cohesive manner.
Stand-out visuals are eye-catching. Blocks of text are not. You don’t want your audience to perceive an infographic as a struggle to get through.
Despite the good design, this infographic by h&h looks a bit too busy:
Promote your infographic
Companies often create infographics on the assumption that they will attract plenty of likes and shares, rising the profile of their brand and positioning them as thought leaders.
Unfortunately, they don’t automatically explode in popularity.
As well as sharing the infographic on your company’s social network pages, try to reach out to any influencers in your network and ask them to feature your infographic. This can help get the viral snowball rolling.
Make sure it’s easy to view
Sometimes an infographic can look great from a designer’s perspective. However, after it is resized, the copy can be lost.
Ensure that the font size is large enough to be read without much difficulty.
The smaller text on the below infographic by Nest is unreadable to anyone in your audience without a magnifying glass at hand.
Keep your infographic to a manageable size and length
Infographics that are too long risk losing the reader’s interest. Go beyond 9000 pixels in length and you’re likely to be presenting the reader with too much information: you risk detracting from your central message.
Also, you need to optimise any infographics for mobile users. Statista report that 61% of North American internet users accessed social media via mobile. If you plan on posting your infographic on your social media channels, make sure that it’s easy to read on smartphones.
Add white space
Any graphic designer will tell you that white space is important. Unfortunately, infographics are often visually overcrowded. This makes it hard for users to focus on the stand-out characteristics of the infographic.
The designers of the below infographic by the International Networks Archive have gone slightly overboard on the content (although in this case perhaps they were using overcrowding as a design technique to highlight their point that there’s a lot of US government red tape!)
If your infographic doesn’t have a great headline, people are less likely to read it, let alone share or react to it.
Three things set good headlines apart: they are short enough to understand at a glance, they grab attention and, lastly, they describe its content.
Taking a little more time to come up with a headline that really packs a punch pays off in the long run.
Don’t waste your design budget - even the best designer can’t make a great infographic if you don’t get the fundamentals like the title right.