The Do’s and Don’ts of Creating a Compelling Infographic

While relevant and regularly updated online content like blogs, articles, and press releases continue to be crucial components in optimizing your website, there are other highly effective forms of communication that draws in consumer attention to your business.

One of these forms is the infographic, which appeals to the ever-growing crowd of online browsers who connect to more visual methods of learning.

Short for “information graphic,” an infographic is defined as the visual representation of information. Visualization is a powerful tool-the millions spent on creating movie posters to market films is proof of that. But infographics are more than just posters with graphs on it. A well-crafted infographic should be able to convey a complex concept in an easily understood, visually appealing way.

Decidedly, there is a trick to designing a successful infographic, which is why it has become a career option. There are endless lists of what makes an infographic successful vs. just a poster with graphs, but here are a handful of do’s and don’ts that will help you with the basics of designing your own infographic.

DO tell a story. Like a good story, infographics should have clear beginning, middle, and end. Introduce the thesis, problem, or purpose of the infographic at the top, or beginning. Support your thesis with data-this is where well-designed charts and graphs come in. Then, end the infographic with a final conclusion.

DO communicate complex data simply and attractively. If a consumer is just as confused by your infographic as they would be by the list of data it is supposed to represent, then a visual isn’t doing its job. Think about your audience and develop a simple, yet creative way to convey the same information so that the consumer can digest it easier.

DO make social media sharing easy. Social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are valuable gateways into the next level of marketing. Designing infographics that can be easily shared through these sites is one of the best ways you can improve the online visibility of your company. So keep them simple and make them attractive-that is the best way to encourage sharing.

DO NOT tell when you can show instead. Writers are taught never to describe through exposition when you can illustrate through character dialogue. Similarly, in an infographic you should never tell when it can be displayed visually instead. That’s the purpose of an infographic after all, is it not?

DO NOT rely on typography too much. A common crutch designers rely on to make information stand out is using alternative typography. While different fonts can be great for highlighting certain data, overusing it can detract from the cohesiveness of the design.

DO NOT use every color you can think of. Rather than make your infographic look like a rainbow exploded on it, use color palettes that complement the message of the visual.

The best rule to follow when developing an infographic is to keep it simple. Successful visual designs take detailed and complicated data and present it in a form that is easily understood by consumers.

Furthermore, answer the questions of purpose, goal, and relevance before you develop an infographic for your website or client.

While there is plenty more that goes into developing a successful infographic, keeping these concepts in mind is a good start.