December 21, 2015
Infographics are among the most successful visual tools to convey data. Our short, multitasking attention spans today don't have the bandwidth to read lots of text. Infographics help us absorb a lot of information in an engaging and easy to read (if done correctly) way.
The brain processes information in a number of ways, so there is more than one right way to make a successful infographic. The most important thing to think about is the information you're trying to convey and the best way to get it into people's brains. If you can throw in some symbolic imagery or provide actual illustrations of the data, even better.
Here are 7 examples of infographics that had a lot of impact in 2015.
1. The Daily Routines of Famous Creative People
You probably saw this one floating around Facebook (or Tech.co). It illustrates the daily routines of 26 famous creatives in a sideways bar graph using different colors to represent the different types of activities that made up their days.
This kind of infographic is almost too easy because the content itself–clothing–is visual is visual. There is a good bit of text in this one, but it doesn't overwhelm the images and it provides helpful, concise tips on the topic at hand.
Dichotomies make for some of the best infographic material. This one gives do's and don'ts of table manners in several different countries. It keeps it simple by listing one “do” and one “don't” from each country.
This is one complicated series of conflicts that would make most peoples' heads spin if they had to read a wall of text about it. Slate decided the best way to explain who's getting along with whom, is in the form of a table. They even added a bit of humor by using emoji-esque icons.
When you're trying to express purely quantitative data, infographics are the best way to go. This one shows the number of varieties of different fruits and vegetables that existed in 1903 and how the numbers had completely dwindled by 1983. You don't even need to be able to read to see that this is a visual of “a lot” to “a little.”
6. Cost of Living Around the World
Maps were the original infographic. Showing data by geographic location helps people process global patterns. Give each data point a color, have the legend indicate what each color means, and, boom!, you can easily see how countries or different regions are faring.
7. How to Keep Fruits and Vegetables Fresh Longer
Food is another topic that makes for good infographics. People like food, and people like seeing food. It's science. Pair food with a time scale, and you have the perfect pairing for a visually engaging transfer of information.
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