The design secrets of attention-grabbing infographics

24 September 2015 Karan Vidal

“What a pretty picture” is not the only thing you want to hear from your audience after they’ve seen your infographic. You’re after a visual blast coupled with useful and current information to help your infographic go viral.

Google trends shows the meteoric rise in infographic search interest. It’s reported that

65% of people are visual learners.

This may go some way in explaining the popularity of infographics. People are bombarded with data every day, so it’s no wonder they gravitate towards a visual expression of information.

Getting the right balance between beauty and brains is no easy feat. We’ve come up with some secrets to help you transform ‘boring’ data into eye-catching information that people will be eager to share.

1.Target audience

Stuck for ideas for your next infographic? The easiest way to decide what you should address is to find out what information your target audience is looking for.

Search forums, Twitter or anywhere else your audience hangs around and make notes of reoccurring questions and discussions. This exercise should give you some good pointers. If you were lucky enough to find more than one topic, don’t fall into the trap of addressing everything at once. The rule is to keep your infographic focused on one area at a time.

This infographic from Lead Up Marketers is a good example of providing targeted information based around one theme.

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2.Reliable and current data

Using unreliable data in your infographic will affect your credibility. The first step in gathering dependable information is identifying a trustworthy source. Generally, wiki and stats bandied around on blogs won’t fall into this category. Try to find original research sources and fact check to verify your data. You can also conduct your own research to get hold of your stats.

If you’re thinking of designing an infographic within an industry where changes happen quickly, make sure you have a plan to produce it ASAP.

Where graphs will be used to demonstrate your information, always check that your charts are an accurate representation.

The fact that you’re producing content in graphical form doesn’t take away your responsibility for correct citation. Always cite the sources of your data. It’s common for citations to be placed at the bottom of the infographic to prevent distractions.

See how The Essay Writing Service UK used citations in their infographic.

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3.Story telling

Like an interesting story, you’ll get your audience hooked on your infographic if your information flows in a logical order. Integrate your ideas so that your audience can make sense of the whole infographic. Guide them from one rational thought-process to another rather than just placing the information in a jumbled mess.

Compare Cards infographic is a great example of taking the reader on a journey.

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4.Get the info and graphic balance right

To prevent data overload, avoid too much information and not enough graphics. Tipping the other way with too many graphics, whilst light on data is not recommended either. The purpose of an infographic is to transform the complex into simplified beauty.

It could be tempting to use every colour in the kaleidoscope but choosing a few complimentary colours will do the job. Data visualisation in the form of graphs and charts are always recommended.

Bigger isn’t necessarily better when it comes to infographics. It’s recommended that the width of an infographic should be 735 pixels. A design over 5000 pixel tall will go on too long to retain attention.
Inject some personality into your infographic if you want to give it an edge. Your brand’s tone of voice should run throughout your infographic.

Take a look at this infographic from Nova Backup, although it’s a bit text heavy, the Monty Python theme is original and a bit of fun.

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5.Promote it

After you’ve put in the necessary effort to design your infographic, it’s now time to take out your ‘digital megaphone’ and spread the word. Increase the chances of your infographic going viral by:

  • Sharing it on your blog.
  • Including social share plugins.
  • Reaching out to experts in your field.
  • Asking users to pass it on.
  • Sharing via social media.
  • Submitting it to infographic directories.

There you have it. The tips above should give you a flying start when designing your infographic. Arm yourself with the right data, good design software and a marketing plan and you’ll be good to go.