In the past few years, infographics have been taking the internet by storm, turning seemingly innocuous blog posts into viral sensations. Beautiful, funny, and charming works of art, they turn boring statistics and information – like “50% of all smartphone owners drink coffee between 7 and 10 a.m.” – into something that’s not only informative, but also easy on the eyes.
Great news: You don’t need to be a statistical genius or a brilliant artist to dazzle your audience.
Here are a few simple steps towards making them great.
1. Find a Viral Topic
Whether you’re trying to detail something as expansive as the history of the internet, or something as simple as the latest Kindle, relevance is important. If you’re creating a comparison chart between the Kindle and Nook, but you completely leave out the fact that the iPad Mini was just released, you’ll be missing out on a huge opportunity to create something that people might want to share with everyone they know – and that’s the point, right?
So think about relevant current events, topics, products, crises, scandals – anything. If people are talking about it, creating an infographic that’s reflective of those events is a simple way will make people far more likely to share that infographic.
2. Keep it Simple
Perhaps the best element about infographics is that, like Twitter, they force us to be concise.
Chances are that if you’re reading a lengthy report or a case study, there’s a lot of unnecessary information.
So focus on the things that matter – the differentiators, the key takeaways, the glaring discrepancies, whatever they may be.
With that in mind, just because you’re focusing on the essentials doesn’t necessarily mean that the infographic has to be short. It can be small, like this one from Hubspot or huge, like this one from Pop Chart Lab.
Just don’t fill it up with tone of useless information. This Kindle vs. Nook chart below is a great example, as it focuses on one thing – the price of books in their respective e-book stores – and keeps it as straightforward as possible.
3. Just Build It
Creating an infographic is extremely difficult and expensive, right?
No, not really. In fact, there are a few free – that’s right, free – resources that enable anyone with a few minutes of time, some interesting statistics, and a handful of unique ideas to create things that are as pretty as they are shareable.
Beyond that, sites like Infogr.am allow users to easily import statistics into a wide (and constantly expanding) range of infographics. Want more? Infogr.am allows you to make those infographics interactive. It’s magic!