The question for this week is all about infographics and the love, hate or indifference of them. So what is an infographic? An infographic is a visual representation of information or data presented for quick and easy consumption. This week I felt was an extension of Assignment 1 and the design of a persona and the transformation of information into a visual form.
So the ultimate question “Do I love or hate infographics?” Absolutely I love them! But why? Well, I believe from my own personal experience that an infographic is an easy way to represent a set of complex information, statistics, data etc. I personally absorb more information when it is represented in a visual form than I do I if I have to read a paragraph with the same information. This is supported by a study and article which identified that 90% of what we remember is based on a visual element.
There was another article which identified five reasons why infographics are beneficial for businesses. The reasons can be separated into two categories: Efficiencies: it’s quick and easy to read and Entertaining and Engaging: it’s fun to look at and even fun to design. I think this article really identifies how easy it is for people to utilise infographics.
But are they really that effective? I have found in my job providing images and a series of statistical information in a graphical form engages participants longer than if I displayed a paragraph depicting the same information. This is something that has only recently changed as we’ve been trying to find new ways to show the information we gather. I recently conducted a project where I analysed an organisations document management practices and as a result prepared a 100 page report. This report detailed a series of statistics gathered from interviews, reconciled systemic issues, detailed the systems used across the organisation, developed recommendations and much more. I had to prepare a 1 hour presentation to senior executives of the organisation to get across the findings of my project. Putting all of this information into a presentation would have been death by PowerPoint and not appropriate for my audience. So I though developing a series of mini infographics for the presentation allowed me to reduce the amount of ‘words’ on the presentation and engage with the audience further. This was not an easy feat but as a result the presentation was engaging and I kept people focused on what I found throughout the entire presentation and this is one of the reasons why I love infographics.
Reflecting on the activity this week and the creation of an infographic engaged that creative side of my mind that I don’t get to use too much. What I struggled with for this activity was picking a topic! There are so many things I could actually do and didn’t know where to start. I wanted to find a topic which had a range of elements associated with the same set of data. I looked at a few different options but didn’t quite fit what I was thinking, until I was talking to my sister-in-law about the impending birth of her 2nd baby and thought perfect! So I looked into ABS for the birth statistics across Australia and bingo – I hit jackpot! The ABS had a series of information on a number of pages on their website. While they do use a series of graphs and tables, there is a lot of information gathered and presented. As standard with ABS, the information which based in paragraph and different information contained within different sections of the website. So this information was a perfect set of data for my infographic. You can see below the infographic I created or click here for a bigger one:
Similarly, with my assignment, I really enjoyed this activity and feel the more I use infographics the better I will be at displaying the information.