Thursday, August 15, 2013

Five things I love about this Visual.ly infographic & what you can learn from it

Infographics: We love them, and we share them more frequently than other posts on social networks, by a mile. But the truth is, many infographics strike me as too much of a good thing. They're too packed with words, difficult to read, visually busy and ultimately, ineffective at getting their message across. Like a PowerPoint slide, many users fall for the temptation of loading up infographics until they look more like a Christmas tree and less like a quick way to share information. Yes, I saw that.

So I cheered when I came across this infographic created on Visual.ly. Created for 100 People: A World Portrait, it walks you through what the world would look like if it were only 100 people. Here's what I like about this infographic, and what I'd like to see more of when you create them:

  1. A comparison that helps, not hurts, understanding: Too often, we reach for analogies and comparisons that make it tougher to grasp the message, like comparing the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the number of Manolo Blahnik shoes everyone in America could buy for the same price. That happens all too often when you're working with big numbers. No one has a real sense of how far away the moon is, no matter how often you describe the stack of dollar bills that could reach it. But here, going with the message of the nonprofit it's representing, the infographic boils the world population down to a manageable size. We can all picture 100 people, and that lets us focus on the percentages and components being described.
  2. A little white space: One way many infographics pile on is with backgrounds, shading and color--all at once. This infographic goes for a clean look with a white background, which lets the information take center stage.
  3. Color to carry the data: Likewise, the design uses color strategically. Every color here plays a role by representing a particular piece of data, making it easy to scan and understand what's being conveyed.
  4. Simple charts and symbols: Check out the charts and maps. They're also easy to read, clean and simple. I wish your PowerPoint slides looked like this, too. No shaded cones and crazy charts with too much data here. Each one has a single point to get across. It's not a mistake that every section of this infographic would make a fine presentation slide. Think about that the next time you're creating one.
  5. Shareability: Using an infographic generator like Visual.ly allows you to make your creation shareable, and infographics were made to be shared. Don't make them just for yourself.
This infographic doesn't get in the way of its message. Instead, it underscores it and makes the message easier to grasp. Are you using all the components of your infographics to do the same?


If the World Were 100 People
by KVSStudio.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web's largest information design community - Visually.

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