Over the last few years, the Internet has developed an insatiable appetite for visualized data. Good design and interesting topics have fueled the population’s hunger for infographics and you can be sure that marketers are doing their best to capitalize. As a result, the market has become flooded with data visualization (and plenty of bad infographics) so creators must work harder or smarter (or both) in order to break through the noise and connect with an interested audience. In order to help you have a real shot at going viral, this article concentrates on helping you work smarter by equipping you with insider knowledge and expert advice. By the time you’re done reading this, you’ll better understand why infographics appeal to the human psyche, how to effectively promote your creation, how to ensure your infographic is not only cool but useful, the role data quality plays in creating an impact, the right way to commission an infographic (for non-designers) and finally whether or not this whole infographic thing is a fad (and therefore worth your time).
I’ll let Charlene Manuel of Visualizing.org kick things off with a nice summary of the infographic boom and who’s participating: “Since Visualizing launched in October 2010, we’ve seen an explosion of interest in data-driven design. Today, a multitude of opportunities and resources exist for creators to communicate the wealth of data being collected and shared. Through our challenges and Visualizing Marathons, we’ve seen the field grow to include individuals of backgrounds in architecture, product design, fine arts and IT. People are really seizing the chance to take part in data visualization because it’s an opportunity to discover insight, communicate about a particular topic and educate a larger audience on a complex issue.”
Lee Sherman from Visual.ly explains why brands are jumping on board the infographics train: “Infographics are the perfect communications medium for the age of big data. They’ve spread like wildfire in recent years because they are both entertaining and informative, as well as being easy to share. In addition, many brands are finding that they are a good way to achieve thought leadership within an industry.”
Susan Weinschenk, Ph.D., explains the fascinating psychology behind why infographics appeal to us in the first place: “People are visual creatures so we notice visual information more than text or listening to someone ...