When It Comes to Infographics, Keep It Simple

November 17, 2014
Chad Giron, Vice President, Client Relations

Net neutrality is a hot topic. Admit it, you’ve heard of “net neutrality”. You know it’s something important. It has something to do with internet speeds and cable companies and, oh, it’s complicated. But, do you know which side of the debate the President is on? Leaders in Congress? Cable companies? Unless you’re a telecom lobbyist, probably not. Which is why I LOVE this infographic (via Mashable):


I mean, who says that infographics need to be flashy and complex? At the risk of stating the incredibly obvious, the entire point of an infographic is to effectively convey information with graphics (information + graphics = infographics). Does the very simple infographic above accomplish that goal? Absolutely.

According to this infographic about infographics (yes, I’m aware of the irony), since 2010 the popularity of infographics has grown more than 800% between 2010 and 2013. Imagine how much more it’s grown since then.

So, for the sake of all of us inundated by the ongoing deluge of icons and colors and charts, please ask yourself – or your designers – a few questions before releasing your next infographic into the interwebs:

Do I have a clear message I’m trying to get across?
The infographic above is a great example of a clear message: “Who’s For Obama’s Net Neutrality Plan?”

Does this simplify the information I’m trying to share?
Again, looking at the example above, it could not be simpler, “For” on the left (on the left…in blue…with the Democrats…get it?), “Against” on the right.

Is it scanable?
The net neutrality infographic can be fully digested, and absorbed, with a simple glance. “For” – Nancy Pelosi (labeled with text and identified via photo) – Firefox & Netflix (identified by brand logos that everyone is familiar with) – Nonprofits (Politicians, Companies & Nonprofits are all clearly labeled) – got it.

Considering that the average human attention span is now 8 seconds (it was 13 in 2000), which is one second less than a goldfish, my advice would be to keep it simple.

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