I have seen the future, and it is infographics...shiny, happy, rainbow-colored, icon-encrusted, seizure-inducing infographics. In an age where everything is interactive, they seem an old-school, static, ever-scrolling throwback to an earlier time.
And yet, they are uniquely suited to our brains. Although we are entertained by interaction, we seem unable to absorb the deluge of information the internet provides without containment; we need, nay, we crave the order and simplicity that an infographic provides.
To make an infographic, it requires a human to sort through the cornucopia of available information and elucidate the salient points. It requires omitting that which is irrelevant in order to ensure effective communication.
I have a son who was born August 19, and the sheer number of obnoxious clicks of the shutter of my "baby TV" had me thinking about what photo apps are best suited for which tasks. And so I embarked on creating an infographic about photo-sharing apps. I use Instagram when I am out with friends, SeeMail (a company to whom I am an advisor) when taking pictures of my baby and sharing them with family, and I used Camera+ when I was recently out trying to take a picture of the space shuttle flying over the Golden Gate Bridge. I sought to see what other need-states other people would have for using these three photo-sharing apps.
I already curate a board on Pinterest on Digital Marketing Infographics, so I decided I would crowd-source a comparison of the three photo-sharing apps I use the most and then make my own infographic. I wanted "need-states of consumers when using photo-apps." People contributed what tasks they used each of the apps for and where each of the apps for them rated.
I expected photo-journalism, sports photography, or even the best app to take a picture of your junk would be on the list; but, alas, I completely forgot how much people enjoy taking pictures of their cats. The devolution of society is now complete...with LOLcats, for which all photo-apps should apologize for enabling.
Through this process, I learned four steps to creating an effective infographic:
- Position a product with other products in the same category. This creates something for each product to "push" against in the comparison.
- Frame the discussion for what will be compared. In my case, "use-cases" for the product. But it could as easily be "features" or "time-saved" at particular tasks. The framework will usually elevate out of real world use of the product. This is what the emotional connection of people to a product is.
- Gather the data for the framework. I crowd-sourced the data, but often the data is readily available in charts of features or you can run a focus group. If a product sucks, this is where it will show up. A combination of quantitative (numbers and stats) and qualitative (how people feel about it) is most effective.
- Present the data in a format that is visually compelling, yet simple to understand, and communicates the framework you established.
I present to you, "Which Photo-Sharing App Should You Use When?"
Click the image below to view the full infographic.
Sean X is founder of SXC Marketing.
On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.