Do Your Infographics Make The Cut? Ask Yourself These Questions

Filed in Design, News by on July 8, 2013 0 Comments
NY Times Infographic Page

The New York Times is known for creating inspiring infographics. Take a look at some of their work. Image courtesy of the New York Times.

Infographics have become one of the most common ways of relaying information to audiences online, but are we using them well? According to an article from the BIGfish Communications blog, maybe not. The folks at BIGfish explain that, according to visualization researcher Fernanda Viegas, our brains are "hardwired" to absorb information visually. We're predisposed to consuming information through shapes, colors, and visual relationships, and doing so may even enhance our comprehension of the material. But that doesn't mean that every visualization is a good visualization. In the BIGfish article, they invite us to take a look at infographics from the the New York Times and the Tumblr, Terrible Infographics. While it should be easy to figure out which source they prefer, take a minute to ask yourself a few questions when comparing the two:
  • How long does it take for me to figure out what information the infographic is trying to convey?
  • How much of the visualization is unnecessary?
  • Could a child understand what the shapes and relationships mean in this infographic?
  • How much text do I have to read to figure out the graphics?
  • Could you explain the same information just as well in a simple list of numbers?
And, maybe most importantly:
  • Does the visualization create relationships in the data that inspire more questions and leave room for more exploration?
A good infographic will accurately display information that the audience can understand. A great infographic will get the audience thinking about the relationships within the data and asking questions that they otherwise would not have known to ask without the visualization. Do your infographics make the cut?
Share some examples of great infographics you've seen on the web with us in the comments.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author ()

Evan is the Ideahaus Community Staff Writer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *