What makes a good infographic

How To Create Perfect Infographics Part 2

Posted on October 2, 2013 ยท Posted in Design

To read the first part of this article visit ‘how to create perfect infographics part one

6. WIREFRAME, EXPLORE, AND ITERATE

As with web design, wireframing at this early stage encourages the designer to focus solely on the structure of the peice, free from visual deisgn considerations such as fonts and colours. The practice of wireframing the structure first strips away the colourful graphics, the bold fonts and the colour schemes to bring focus back to the data. Working with a limited colour palllete and a set of simple shapes forces designers to think about the data, and gives them the time to explore many different options.

The poortunity that wireframing provides is the time to explore. explorstion of concepts is so important in data presentation. like a painting, the data designer’s visual reperesentation of the data is open to interpreatation by the viewer. What may be a logical flow and structure to the designer may not neccessaryily be the case for others, so it’s important to get as many eyes on these low-fidelity mockups as you can. Feedback at this early stage is crucial in determining the clearest way of presenting the data to your audience, and wireframing is remarkably conducive to the itterative process.

7. SELECTING THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB

Data designers have an aresenal of different charts at their disposal. Pie, Bar, Line, Area and other chart types are part of their go to toolkit when creating infographics. But knowing when to use which is important, becuase they’re not always interchangeable. It’s a matter of selecting the one that presents the data in its most comprenhesiavblie form, and this will often be determimed by how the data is organised and categorised. It may be tempting to choose a chart based on shape rather than functionallity, but when attempting to visually represent informatio, ease of communication should always trump visual design choices.

Don’t be scared to use a bar chart if a bar chart presents the information in its most accessible format. These common charts provide some of the most efficent ways of displaying data accurtly, and they often form the foundation of some of the most beautiful visualisations out there. They can ve adapted and ultilised in may unique ways while still being informative and useful.

8. CHOOSING THE RIGHT VISUAL APPROACH

There tend to be two clear approaches when it comes to a infographics visual design. on one hand you have those who truwly let the data data do the talking. they create stunning artworks frm the data itself utilising a combination of colour, shape and clean typography, with the narrative being expressed solely through the presentation of the data. This is seen most prominently in the works of people like Nicholas Felton and David McCandless.

Then on the other hand, there are those who will use illustrations and clever visual metaphors to help drive the narrative and guide the viewer through the data.

There is definitely a time and place for either or even a combination of the two, but the approach you would normally be determined by includes:

  • The audience.
  • Intended tone.
  • Branding.
  • Purpose.
  • Medium.

Illustrations can really help to visually represent your intended narrative, but they ought to be used with caution. The data and information should still be the star of the show, and illustrative elements should not hamper the viewer’s comprehension, or obstruct the data in any way. Used correctly, the metaphorical visual representation of data can be both impactful and insightful. used incorrectly, and the data is lost.

9. DISTRIBUTION AND PR

Once your infographic is created, it’s time to distribute to the masses. The fact is, you can create the most gorgeous and insightful infographic the world has ever know, but if you do not have a distribution plan in mind from the being, no one is ever going to see it.

The obvious first step in distribution should be sharing through social media. As you well know, there is a organic means of social distribution and paid means, and it is important to use both. Next, it is important to identity exactly where your readers spend their time online and what websites are they reading when they have down time. once you have identified these places, reach out to these websites and pitch them on why your infographic adds value to their readers.

10. TREAT INFOGRAPHICS AS MORAL ACTS

I would like to leave you with some wise words from ‘Beautiful Evidence’ by the godfather of infographics, Edward Tufte: “Making an evidence presentation is a moral act as well as a intellectual activity, To maintain standards of quality, relevance, and integrity for evidence, consumers of presentations should insist that presenters be held intellectually and ethically responsible for what they show and tell. thus consuming a presentation is also an intellectual and moral activity.”