The Importance of Infographics in Conveying Information

19 October 2016
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According to the Social Science Research Network, 65% of the population are “visual learners.”  Within any given market, a significant spectrum of the potential audience is comprised of people who are more likely to respond to image-based media than to paragraphs of text. Kissmetrics suggests that articles with images get 94% more views than those without.

The profusion and accessibility of visual content, particularly with the rise of mobile devices and image-based social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, is a testament to the fact that we are living in an increasingly visual culture. Considering that 90% of the information processed by the human brain is visual, it is only natural that the brain has a psychological inclination towards information presented in a way that incorporates imagery.

A significant challenge for many businesses lies in discovering how to convey information effectively in a way that resonates with potential or existing customers. In an era with an increasing emphasis on user experience, the relationship between content and presentation can be a make-or-break factor when it comes to connecting with an audience. You can have great content, but unless presented in a way that is accessible and visually compelling, your message will be lost amidst a sea of competing voices. To tell someone something is simply to “talk at” them, but to show them involves providing them with an experience.

Infographics utilize a strategy that relies on “showing” rather than “telling.” A well-executed infographic naturally attracts the eye through a careful use of color and composition. Once the viewer’s attention is captured, an infographic provides a visually compelling journey that escorts the viewer through a series of steps or points, conveying important information in a seamless way that can be easily absorbed.
The mixed-media approach that defines successful infographics appeals to people at all levels of experience. Rather than stating a complex problem and promising an ideal solution, infographics provide a guiding framework for viewers to engage with the problem and see the solution unfold through a process of gradual and actionable understanding. By using a combination of color, typographical hierarchies, and guided imagery, complex content is delivered in a way that flows visually, illustrating the most important messages in a progressive way. An excellent infographic can address a challenge or pain point and guide a viewer through a solution using a step-by-step approach that feels simple, transparent, and inclusive. A fundamental principle of good design is that inviting people to participate in an experience is far more compelling than simply telling them about it, and this is precisely what high-quality infographics accomplish. Even rather mundane subjects can be brought to life through stunning visualizations created by a talented designer.

Between 2010 and 2012, Google searches for the term “infographics” increased by a massive 800%. Because they are so successful at delivering content in a way that consumers find accessible and valuable, the demand for infographics continues to grow.
Drawing from UX and advertising principles, an infographic has the potential to serve as a resource that benefits both brand and audience. Infographics are a powerful strategic medium for communicating information in a stylized way that reflects and strengthens brand identity. An infographic that captures the eye and provides value is a piece of shareable content that doesn’t feel like an advertisement, but still has the potential to reflect important messages about your business. In a visual culture, being able to express who you are and what you do in a visual way is a crucial aspect of brand identity.

In addition to catching the eye of an audience, infographics also convey information in a way that increases the potential for retention. People are much more likely to remember a visually compelling graphic than a mere paragraph of text. Research has demonstrated that when people hear information, they typically remember only 10% of that information three days later. When the same information is paired with a relevant image, however, retention after a 3-day period increases to 65%. In psychology terms this is known as the “Picture Superiority Effect,” and it has repeatedly been demonstrated through multiple clinical experiments.

Humans are visual creatures, and the ability to present information graphically is integral to a competitive marketing strategy. In an environment where individuals are inundated with so much information every day, infographics can help your message stand out beautifully and create a lasting impact on your audience.

Check back on our blog for some really good infographics coming soon!