I love a good infographic. I love the way they help to make sense of often quite complex data and information through very simple visual cues. They turn numbers into stories; and when you are innumerate like me that is a big deal. They are also brilliant at showing progression, growth, and history in an informative, engaging and sometimes witty way. Like any good story, they can touch your emotions in a way that numbers and data can’t. Well, for me anyway.
I particularly like the way that infographics tend to be non-linear. There are no pages to turn; you just keep scrolling down the screen revealing fresh content as you go. This is a very comfortable and familiar experience for digital natives, who can take in a lot of information very quickly this way.
One of my favourite examples of a good infographic design is this one created by www.kleptocracy.us to provide a visualisation of American debt. Setting politics aside for one moment, one can’t help but admire the way the artist has illustrated the scale of an almost unimaginable quantity of dollars.
I’m actually looking closely at the art of infographic design at the moment as I’d like to use this technique to illustrate the incredible 10 year history of the company I work for, combining internal corporate milestones with external customer facing highlights.
Rather than attempting to grab people’s attention with pages and pages of traditional text, I think a good infographic could tell our amazing story in a few moments. When you are competing for peoples’ attention against the pressures their day jobs, this is an attractive option.
Another increasing trend I have noticed is that of animated infographics. This is quite a cute example that charts the history of the iPhone. I think the music helps as well.
I haven’t yet come across any public examples of infographics being used by Internal Communicators. Given the benefits I have described, surely there must be companies out there using them to help staff digest complex organisational data?
What do you think?