The Rise of the Infographic (& 4 Tips to Make Yours Better!)
By Maggie Bright

Let’s face it we have all opened up an 80 page powerpoint presentation and sighed in agony at the thought of reading it. I should confess that I’ve probably emailed a few of those presentations in my career (I’m sorry).

As a highly visual and time stretched workforce, it’s no wonder that all facets of our organizations are seeking to replace long form communications and the agony they bring. As such, it has been exciting to watch the meteoric adaptation of the infographic.   Which got the Murphy Research team wondering why they are so popular and how we could make ours better?

Why do infographics work?

According to Mashable, infographic posts attract 448% more action than a traditional post. We speculate the root of this popularity is because infographics meet three key criteria:

  1. They save the reader time. Instead of looking at 80 pages- you get a streamlined version of the story in 735 x500 pixels (or one page).
  2. They bring creativity and visual appeal to the forefront. It’s much more fun to look at a pretty picture and even better when it tells an intriguing story.
  3. They feed our naturally social culture. Infographics are easy to share providing an efficient way to connect with colleagues and close acquaintances alike.

The Rise of the Infographic

How do I build a great infographic?

As a researcher, infographics can be an amazing way for us to get our message across. The risk, however, is in picking the right information to share and properly curating the data. An infographic is often much harder to create than an 80 page deck because it has to tell a relevant, entertaining, educational story with a unique perspective in a small space. We scanned a lot of websites to find some good “rules” about how to build an infographic. What we learned (and continue to learn as we turn out some amazing infographics) is that when art and science collide in visual mediums- there are not hard and fast rules.

But, all is not lost. According to several infographic based studies, there are 4 guidelines that appear to hold true for the majority of infographics:

  • Pick an interesting topic. Infographics don’t have to be earth shattering, but they have to be interesting to the people they are intended for.
  • Create a visually appealing story. This is key- as you want to move beyond data to a storyline and give the reader clear direction on where their eye should travel.
  • Keep the design simple. The design carries the burden of both pulling someone in and keeping their attention.  Read more about this topic from our designer Katie: 5 Impactful Infographic Tips.
  • Share it. Make sure you pick a format and design that make it easy to share with colleagues, and if you are looking for it to be viral, make sure you pick the right title and do some research on the best “share” tactics.

We would love to hear about some of your favorite infographics or how you have effectively used them throughout your organization.

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