I have begun to realize that over the weeks my blog has become a little … stale. So this week, instead of focusing on a poster, I am going to introduce you all to my new pursuit: Infographics!
WARNING: I’m pretty new at this, so we will be learning together!
To begin: What IS an infographic Jill? I’m glad you asked! According to Wikipedia: “Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly. They can improve cognition by utilizing graphics to enhance the human visual system’s ability to see patterns and trends. The process of creating infographics can be referred to as data visualization, information design, or information architecture.”
So basically, you take something complicated and condense it into one easy-to-read (and hopefully visually appealing!) graphic - This is looking more and more like something I can handle!
Now that we know what in infographic is, what makes a good infographic?
According to this handy infographic on visual.ly,
It is a combination of Data, Story, Shareability, and Design
Well alright Visual.ly, those look like pretty good criteria to judge and infographic on, so lets try it!
I have found two examples of infographics regarding the same topic on the web, lets see which one is better:
First off, we have one from food blogger Celia M, author of High Heeled Life.com
Data: Right off the bat this graphic scores points in the data department. Each section has its own set of stats, and the pictures are proportionate to those stats. Very well done.
Story: Obviously this infographic is cleverly showing people the difference between the portion sizes we should be eating and are eating. An infographic was a good way to present this information. Therefore, I rank this very well for the story category
Design: unfortunately, this infographic just isn’t extremely visually appealing. the font is plain, and there is so much lettering that I would tend to bet people will give up reading it after a few sections. Adding a little color and moving the information around in a creative way would do a lot for this graphic.
Shareability: I think the design problems play a huge role in the low score I am giving this graphic for shareability. The fact of the matter is, if it’s boring, people won’t share it. It is possible that it would be spread if the right audience got a hold of it (IE a group of portion-control bloggers?)
This second infographic is by the CDC
Data: upon first look, this infographic doesn’t seem to be very information-rich, but look closer! Each of the portions has the average size listed on it, and the graph behind everything shows exactly how much those portions have increased since the 1950’s! There is just as much information here as there was in the other infographic- it’s just more cleverly placed. Bonus points for having the information sourced at the bottom- very helpful
Story: from the very first look you can tell what the story is here- the increasing size of portions over time.
Design: This graphic uses colors, fonts, and sizing well to create a piece of information that is visually appealing.
Shareability: This is difficult. Even though I would consider this to be a very good infographic, i’m not sure that it’s actually something that would go viral. The fact of the matter is the content is only interesting to a very small audience. Sure, this graphic might wake people up to the explosion of portion size in the last 50 years, but we all KNOW portions have been expanding. I just can’t see this as something people would be rushing to paste on their Facebook walls.
TOP SECRET PLAN FOR NEXT WEEK: now that I know what makes a good infographic, I’m going to use this week to make one of my own! Check back next Sunday to see how it goes!