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Seen any good infographics lately? November 7, 2011

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Grab Bag, Trends.
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Count me as a fan of infographics. I like these high level visuals. To partially quote a familiar bromide “A picture is worth…”. I’m sure you can finish the rest.  We always have appreciated visuals in the fine arts.  It started with paintings on the cave walls even.  Leap forward to the present and visual communications reasonate as well in the digital age. We share images more easily now than ever before. DC Metro Map

You find them in the real world. One common example in large cities is the layout of the subway lines, aka metro maps. When you see the image, you know how to use it. There is no learning curve. Quickly and easily, you can find the information you need and move on.

I have not experienced this directly but I can see where infographics will replace slide presentations in business meetings more and more. For myself, giving a presentation typically meant lots of preparation, critique from peers, adding speaker notes, making transparencies for the overhead projector as well as hard copies, and practice runs. I’m dating myself in order to emphasize the overhead involved. A rule of thumb for presentations was that each slide was good for 5 minutes of discussion. Thus, for an hour presentation, you needed a minimum of 12 slides. I have sat through many presentations that water-drip the information over 50 or more slides. I say “Enough” and evolve! Compare that to a well-designed infographic that can carry a full hour. Much easier to talk to, prepare and retain for your audience. That assumes you have the infographic already.

Here are two online examples of infographics. First for  SEO, a useful overview on Landing Page Optimization (LPO) and the second is on exercise myths.

I find infographics most effective while explaining new things to people. As an example, if you wanted to explain the term User Experience, how would you do it? I typically use a classic infographic such as this one.

Elements of User Experience

Classic UX from Jesse James Garrett

Using a web site is something we do every day. But, if you had to explain some of what happens behind the scenes, could you do it without confusing them via too much information? Using a visual is much easier for all involved.

I am drawn (no pun intended) to graphics while researching topics. In our short attention span world, I use the graphic to obtain a high level of understanding. Depending on my level of interest, I know I can find articles, reviews and expert commentary online.

If you find a good infographic, share it. No words are neccessary and Thanks in advance.