Often both us and our clients have a need to represent large amounts of data. Traditionally not a great deal of thought has gone into the representation of data. I’ve seen Powerpoint presentations with huge tables of numbers, the same old pie charts and line graphs, and I can honestly say I don’t remember what was in any of them. Showing data in this way is unengaging; it lacks any visual context and makes it difficult to remember.
Something which has started to become very popular in recent times is the use of infographics – both static and animated – to display lots of data, but make it fun, engaging and memorable. You may remember my entry a while back on Pinterest – that referenced an infographic which showed how it had grown.
Infographics, being representations of data, are treated as hard fact (and indeed the content is more often than not well researched and the author cites their sources) and so they can be very influential. The visual aspect of them also makes them highly viral, and the popular ones do the rounds on sites such as Mashable and dedicated sites such as visual.ly. Indeed some media outlets now have specialist teams creating them – see the Guardian Data Blog and some of the fantastic infographics created by The New York Times. These graphics get spread via blogs, email and social media and so are a fantastic way to build awareness around your company and its specialities.
Let us know via comments below or Twitter if you’ve got any more favourites!
- Taschen: Information Graphics (vanmildert.com)