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IXD104 – Designing Infographics

“Infographics help fill the gap between words and pictures.” Edward Tufte

Infographics are visual representations, most often, of mass amounts of information. Humans are by nature, visual learners and tend to only remember 20% of what they read. This rings true online as well, most shared and liked things on social media are images and traffic has been shown to increase as much as 12% when you publish something like an infographic online. Infographic designer Anne Sanders says;

‘Make sure you know exactly what you want and are able to provide a designer with content. Your infographic should be educational or entertaining, not a push to buy something. Establish yourself as a leading resource of information in your field, and customers will remember you and seek you out.’

Infographics and a valuable tool for visual communication. The most visually unique and creative infographics are often the most effective because they grab your attention and don’t let go but it crucial that they should do more than just excite and engage. The content of the infographic is just as important as how its designed. Infographics can be used to spread awareness on important topics that should be given spotlight in todays world. Such as world hunger, plastic pollution and global warming.

There are 8 main types of infographics;

1. Statistical – visualising survey results, presenting multiple sources of data with layout and visuals telling the story behind your data in the form of charts, icons and eye catching fonts. The bubble layout can help each statistic stand out while creating a hierarchy of information, putting the most important statistic as the largest.

2. Informational – clearly communicates a new or specialised concept or to give an overview of a topic. This type of infographic is normally split into sections with descriptive headers. This is the most popular type of infographic.

3. Timeline – The best infographic for visualising the history of something, highlighting important dates or an overview of events. A visual like a timeline infographic can help create a clearer picture of a timeframe with the use of visual aids like lines, icons, photos and labels to help explain points in time.

4. Process – the best type of infographic to provide a summary or overview of steps in a process. This allows you to simplify to clarify each top with most following a top to bottom or left to right flow.

5. Geographical – helps to visualised location based data, demographic or large quantities of data. Geographical infographics use map charts as the visual focus. For example this infographic uses a heat map with circles of different sizes to show regions hierarchically.

6. Comparison – comparing options in an unbiased way or you want to make one seem better, typically comparison infographics are split vertically or horizontally down the middle with contrast colours setting the two apart, or you can use a more eye catching colour to emphasis the option you want to promote. If you want to compare more than two things, dividing your infographic into multiple columns.

7. Hierarchical – organizes information from greatest to least. This type of infographic utilizes Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

8. List – Best for a collection of tips or a list of resources or examples – with the goal of making it more eye catching than a basic list. Visuals like icons can replace bullet points, and creative fonts and colours can make each item stand out.




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