The term infographic is an abbreviation of information graphic. Infographics are visual representations of data and other forms of information. They combine text, images, illustrations, and data visualizations like charts and graphs to communicate ideas in a way that is quick and easy to understand. They typically aim to inform the reader about a topic or persuade people about a particular claim or argument.
Infographics have several benefits:
So why should you create an infographic? They take dense textual information and convert it into an easy to read, highly visual piece of content that is easy to read, understand, and remember. Plus, they're highly shareable, versatile, and easy to create using online tools.
The following five steps can guide the planning and development of data or information visualizations, including infographics:
Ask yourself the following questions:
Examples of infographic purposes: explain a process, share a compelling story, raise awareness of an issue, present trends or patterns
Think about data points that would help readers understand your message.
You may need to gather data from multiple sources. You may also need to clean or normalize your data; for more details on this process, see the data visualization guide.
First, plan how your will structure your infographic. Remember that it should tell a story: first, you introduce the topic, and then you explain it bit by bit. Pay particular attention to the relationship between elements in your infographic.
Laying out the main elements or information in a grid or rough drawing (e.g. as a storyboard or wireframe) can help with this process.
When designing a grid or wireframe, consider the following:
Next, make sure that you're choosing an appropriate chart, graphic, map, or diagram for your visualizations. This data visualization guide includes resources to pick the right visualization form. This webpage explains how to choose the right chart type for an infographic.
To catch the reader's attention, take advantage of preattentive attributes, characteristics that our eyes perceive and process quickly without conscious attention. Use elements of form (like length, width, size, shape), color, and position to emphasize points or draw the eye through the infographic. To highlight important elements, make sure there is as much contrast as possible.
Here are a few tips to consider:
Need more ideas? See the data visualization guide for information on design principles.
Creating a visualization is a step-by-step process. Remember to ask others to review your work and provide feedback to improve it.
Just like when you're writing a research paper, remember to cite your sources. This includes scholarly resources that you gathered information from, as well as data sources.
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