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1,000 Words or One Picture?

The saying has been around forever, and it’s never been more true than today: A picture is worth a 1,000 words! In today’s time-starved generation – where every concept has to be more quickly understood than the last, learners crave information that is easy to understand. The National Department of Educational Psychology confirms that people are primarily visual learners. The message is: if you want someone to understand a new concept, create an image.

Many companies are now adopting an infographic format to communicate quickly and effectively with their audiences. This format aggregates interesting data that demonstrates a trend or supports an opinion and presents it in a chart form accompanied by a few descriptive words. This type of content is often colorful and entertaining to the viewer.

Before you proceed with your “Monet moment,” consider the following 12 tips for effectively developing an infographic:

1: Keep the message simple. Infographics fail if you are trying to convey too many concepts. One key point is sufficient.

2: Your audience must be able to understand your point in just seven seconds (or less). Don’t make your audience work too hard to decipher the chart or graphic.

3: Simple bar charts still win with publications. Sadly, Trainer learned that clever designs don’t always win. We spent hours designing a wonderful “heart” infographic for one of our clients around Valentine’s Day. It was too hard to understand. Yet the simple bar chart we created a few months ago for a client (below) was quickly picked up by CNET.

4: Geography differences are of particular interest. For example: which areas of the country do things more often, faster, better, spend more money on something, etc. These charts are incredibly popular.

5: If you have access to information that provides a contrarian perspective, that type of infographic will likely garner interest.

6: Focus on statistics that will have wide-spread interest. Cast a wide net when you produce your chart. For example “hiring trends for college graduates in the U.S.” will be far more effective than “hiring trends for mechanical engineering students in Detroit.”

7: Infographics “experts” are readily and affordably available on eLance and ODesk. With a little creativity and access to some substantiated data, you can hire a graphics expert for very little investment and create a visually interesting chart.

8: One short sentence. That’s all the space you have to say what you mean.

9: You are representing this information as valid and correct, so don’t use someone else’s information. Leverage Survey Monkey or Zoomerang to develop your own data.

10: If you are conducting a survey, make sure your sample size is significant and your questions are well designed so that you can accurately interpret and represent responses and trends.

11: If you are conducting a survey, make sure your survey audience is appropriately suited to understand and respond to the questions you are asking.

12: If you are a service provider or a SaaS vendor, you will likely be able to aggregate information that you already have.

If you have more questions about infographics, please don’t hesitate to contact the team here at Trainer Check back here next week for the specifics on creating animation!

This entry was written by, posted on May 11, 2011 at 5:15 pm, filed under Marketing, PR, Press Relations. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.


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