Information Overload and Infographics

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Every day we review our alerts from Meltwater, or sponsor, and review dozens of marketing-related infographics on the web. Each week we choose not to publish hundreds of infographics, though. We develop infographics ourselves and it’s not that we’re snobs… it’s simply that we understand what makes an infographic work and what doesn’t.

A well-designed infographic without information overload has the following:

  • An Entertaining Story – in its entirety, there should be some theme to the assemblance of data and graphics. (See Prevent Home Break-ins that was launched around Halloween)
  • Supporting Research – to validate the story, it’s important that infographics have references to third party research. (See An Examination of Lead Scoring)
  • A Conclusion – an introduction is always great, but a conclusion is a must. How are you going to influence someone without actually driving the data and story to a conclusion? (See How Proposal Management Software is Boosting Business)
  • Identification – who are you and why are you an authority on this topic? You’d be surprised at how many infographics I review that are great… but lack any means of identifying the source. (See How to Build a Data Center)
  • Call-To-Action – I recently criticized a company for their lack of a CTA on their infographic. They said they didn’t want to come across as salesy. I never said to sell them… I just told them they should tell the visitor what to do next. (See the Business Case for Digital Asset Management)

Too many infographics just puke a bunch of impressive stats into a pretty design. The result is information overload. People get lost and confused by the data instead of the infographic educating the reader on what the purpose behind the infographic is.

There are exceptions, of course, like humorous infographics (check out our Agency Love and Marriage and Why People Unfollow You on Twitter) or step by step infographics (check out 10 Steps to Managing Crisis Communication).

What do you think?

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