INFOCUS

9 reasons your infographic stinks

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Too much copy

If you really need to describe your data with a lot of text and descriptions, then an infographic is not the way to go. The idea is to distill the data into a visual representation so it's a quick read. A viewer should be able to look at the graphic or illustration and need very little text to digest the information. Obviously not everything can be described by image alone, so text is used to describe what the image represents with a succinct explanation, such as showing that you are making a comparison in one area and showing cause and effect in another. Use brief text that is to the point. The popularity of infographics stems from the quick-read, entertaining dissemination of facts and opinions, so to clutter them with too much copy defeats the purpose.

Content isn't organized

Translating statistics into a visual story should not look like an '80s junior high school student's sticker-covered Trapper Keeper. Organize the content so that there is a sense of story in which one piece of information leads into another or results in another statistic. This organization will also serve as a content wireframe for the designer to base an actual wireframe on.

By highlighting key data, it becomes more visually exciting and creates something that is more like storytelling instead of reporting. Even if there isn't a beginning, middle, and end, there will likely be a question, testimony or findings, and a hypothetical conclusion as a way to structure the content. From a design perspective, the flow of the content should be seamless, guiding the viewer along from start to finish.

 

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