How to present data: why infographics are the best

wiltshire wildlife trust infographic by leap design

When you need to present data to a broad and general audience, we believe that infographics are your best bet. A great example of when this might be the case is if you are creating an annual impact report aimed at your business’ stakeholders, as opposed to a financial report that might be delivered to a smaller group of specialists and shareholders. Infographics are accessible, quick and easy to absorb, sharable, can transcend language barriers, and are more memorable than numbers or text alone. If you want your facts and figures to hit home, then opt for an infographic.

What is an Infographic?

An infographic is a graphical or pictorial representation of information. Rather than using text or graphs and charts, an infographic will be designed to deliver data in a concise and visually engaging way. An infographic could be a small illustration used to communicate a single piece of information, or a large and more complicated graphic featuring multiple different messages intended to be used as a poster.

Why Use Infographics?

It is often incorrectly claimed that “approximately 65% of the population are visual learners”
(compared to 30% who are auditory learners and 5% who are kinaesthetic learners). The reality is that everyone is a visual learner (because almost all of us process information through our eyes, the exception being those with a visual impairment). Studies in the educational sector have found that learners respond to visual information significantly faster than text only materials. Therefore it makes sense that if you are presenting data and have the resources, an infographic is a preferable option to text or a table.

Things to Consider When Commissioning an Infographic

  • Infographics are designed to make data beautiful—and easy to digest – but you need to know which facts and figures are going to have the most impact for your audience. Reduce the amount of unnecessary information, so the important things are clear. What do you need to say and what can you do without?
  • What is the story and information you are trying to tell?
  • Who is your audience and how would they interact with the infographic?
  • Consider and specify the desired tone – playful or serious, scientific or more widely accessible.
  • How simple or complex do you want the infographic to be?
  • Infographics take time to design and illustrate having your content as close to approved as possible prior to the design commencing is really helpful and can save costs being incurred from multiple rounds of amends. We know that until you have seen your first draft of what your infographic could look like it’s might be hard to imagine (that’s why you employed us to do something you can’t do:)) and that when you first see the concept you might wish to do some extensive rethinking. That’s ok but being prepared is part of the journey.
  • A designer will use set colours to highlight key information to make an infographic easier to understand. Be sure to specify your brand colours, but do also check contrast and accessibility for inclusivity, especially on any detail work.
  • Which platforms do you want your infographic to appear on? Different platforms display in different ways, so consider where your primary audience is. Infographics can be designed for print and digital – generally when we do infographics for client impact reports (print) we then supply them for digital use on their platforms. Everyday Plastics report and accompanying infographics is a great example, as they were picked up and shared by national media.
  • Question WHY you are using an infographic. Will it do what you need it to do? With more complex infographics it can be a large budget investment and will it give you the ROI you were looking for?

Infographics Today

The current COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the creation and sharing of a huge number of infographics. With the need for information and knowledge to spread faster than a contagious virus, the ability of language-less infographics to be quickly created, adapted and shared around the world on social media has been critically important. Key messaging regarding social distancing, self-isolation and the need to “flatten the curve” have all been spread amongst populations in the form of sharable infographics. It’s been wonderful to witness design playing such an important role in combating COVID-19.

Flatten The Curve infographic: Siouxsie Wiles and Toby Morris via Wikimedia under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

If you’ve got some statistics or data that you want your audience to engage with, then we’d strongly suggest deploying a high impact infographic. We can work with you to determine the best way to present your data in a way that will capture the attention of your target audience, and then create that artwork for you, making sure that it’s suitable and adaptable for a range of final destinations – from a printed report to a website, or the side of a bus shelter.