Only about a year ago, infographics were the darlings of the Web – favored by marketers, designers and content consumers alike. Today, however, you will see quite a bit of blogging and commenting from people calling for a virtual cease-fire: “Please, no more infographics!”
So, what happened?
Like most anything else Internet users place on a pedestal, infographics have almost been done to death – which would truly be a shame if it plays out that way. Originally used to represent important data and statistical information in a more visually pleasing and more easily consumable way than plain text, infographics have become an excuse for creating increasingly larger, less useful and oftentimes incomprehensible art projects.
Many marketers and designers have lost sight of the fact that infographics should be driven by the data they provide. Too often today, the statistical data (if any is included) takes a back seat to competing elements, making it more difficult if not impossible to extract any useful information. Others seem to mistakenly believe that the larger an infographic is, the better; as if shouting your message into someone’s ear is more effective than speaking in a normal tone.
A well-designed infographic that provides useful information still carries a lot of weight for any business. To preserve the integrity of infographics and to reap their full benefits, Web companies must be smart about when and how they use them, and designers must maintain their focus on delivering the message in a powerful but helpful way.
Some simple tips include trying to create something unique without losing the message in the translation; visualize the data you are trying to convey and then tell the story through your design; use the most readable fonts possible for numerical data, and save the fancy typography for eye-catching titles.
Below are some examples for inspiration:
60 Seconds on the Web by Shanghai Web Designers
Facebook vs. Twitter by Digital Surgeons
The Content Grid by Eloqua
Optimal Email Times by Pure 360
Our Connected World by GigaOM