Infographics are, by now, very popular. They’re well known because:
- They’re relatively easy to make. You don’t need complicated image editing software to create an infographic. In fact, there are sites online that will help you to generate them for free. If you’re familiar at all with PowerPoint, then you can also use that to make your own infographic series.
- They’re fast, both in how quickly you can produce them with the information that you have on hand, and in how quickly a reader can digest the information that they provide. Instead of a long presentation that could take slide after slide to get to the point, you can just read down to the bottom of an infographic and get all of the facts, figures, quotes, and even links that you would want your audience to know about, all in one very streamlined package.
- They’re very social, and that makes a big difference when you want to make sure that your message is getting to as many eyes as possible. Infographics are lightweight, typically, with most simply being vertically long images. They’re typically easy to read on mobile screens as well, with bright color and font choices that look as good on a desktop as they do on a smart phone. All of this adds up to making content that your users can share with one another.
These are all great qualities, but they only matter if you make the right infographic, and use it at the right time. There are always going to be considerations of appropriateness when you’re considering image assets, especially those that you’re creating yourself. With the infographic, there are lots of opportunities– just don’t make the mistake of relying on them too heavily.
When to Use Them:
- You want to draw more users to a site to learn more about a service that you provide. An infographic lets you give your entire pitch, complete with sourced facts, quickly.
- You want to raise awareness, especially about issues that could otherwise be complicated to read about online. While an infographic isn’t a replacement for a full-fledged article, it can point users to sources where they can learn more or participate.
- You want to engage social audiences, and as mentioned, infographics are very social media friendly.
When to Not:
- You’re working with very “dry” information. Infographics should have information, but they also need to be relevant to what your audience actually cares about.
- You’re trying to sum up something that’s actually very technical/complex for an audience that understands the subject.
That second part in particular’s rather important: Infographics are less about preaching to the choir, and more about introducing a new way for viewers to learn about a product, service, or political cause that may interest them. There’s always room for veterans to learn more, but chances are, they already know. Best case scenario, they may use it to introduce newcomers to the subject.