Seeing Is Understanding: Why Infographics Work

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Infographics are hot these days and since we’re all about visual communication here at Flikli, we wanted to take a little bit of this blog space to spend some time talking about this particular species of visualization. It’s no surprise that infographics are popping up everywhere — there are a multitude of very sensible reasons for the rise of the infographic, which we discuss briefly in this post.

(For those who are already familiar with infographics are are looking to create their own, we expand on how Flikli helps businesses use data to tell stories and communicate ideas through infographics here. For our intro, read on.)

With the sheer volume of information that people see on a daily basis nowadays, things need to be easy to digest and understand because people have less time to consume and process all that info. Infographics allow complex information and data to be communicated concisely and precisely.
Better communication means richer networks and a larger number of connections between ideas, organizations, and people, all of which are not always so obvious and easy to grasp. Infographics enable people to see these unseen and abstract connections in an instant.

People love and remember visuals. Though not every infographic is a work of great art or design, they involve elements that the audience can relate to and remember, whether that is in the form of characters, symbols, charts, or a particular color scheme. These visuals engage not just the intellect, but also the emotions, which enables people to more vividly remember the information that the infographic contains.

Infographics can be created in formats that are easily shareable. They come in the form of static graphics or videos, which can be hosted online and shared quickly via links. An infographic image or video that catches someone’s attention is likely something that individuals would want to show to friends, colleagues, etc. and these are likely to spread across social media and email networks because of it.

All of these points make infographics incredibly useful to a lot of different parties: news outlets, businesses, educational institutions, not-for-profit organization, and more. Most every type of organization has information to communicate internally and externally, and infographics are an ideal way to do that in an easily digestible way that can promote positive action. Because of this infographic can be great not only for communication, but for awareness building for brands and causes and even as means of driving traffic to websites and information hubs.

Below are just a few examples from around the web which demonstrate data visualization in action:

“The Power of Data Visualization”, an animated infographic by Column Five, demonstrates a bit about how infographics and data visualization work and why they are effective.

Here is a static infographic illustrating the cleanest and dirtiest water utilities in the United States:

Finally, another motion infographic highlighting how big data is flooding the internet and our media consumption (and showing why infographics can be so useful):

“Big Data”

Check back here often as we’ll have more to say about infographics in the future, as well as more highlights of great information visualization.

*The following sources were consulted for writing this post:

Jason Lankow, Ross Crooks, and Josh Richie, Infographics: The Power of Visual Storytelling

Edward Tufte, Beautiful Evidence

Edward Tufte, Envisioning Information