Infographics – The Good, The Bad, The New Perspective

We all prefer graphical representations to long textual facts and figures. The reason being that they are more interesting and give a consolidated glimpse of the data which can be compared easily. Even statistics have proven that 40% of the audience respond better to visual representations in comparison to text based information. This may be attributed to the fact that the human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Infographics are being shared over social media and are getting good responses from the users. While many may believe that the use of infographics is fairly new, it is safe to say that similar representations have been in existence since ages. However the problem with infographics is that the more they are used, the more chances exist for them to become so common that they may lose popularity with the masses and eventually resulting in weakened marketing efforts. The only way to ensure effective use of infographics is to constantly innovate and understand the finer nuances associated with visual representation of complex or lengthy data.

The Good:

  • The most alluring aspect of infographics is the visual appeal and simplicity of presentation. While becoming overly creative may seem to be a good strategic approach, most users prefer simple presentations that have clarity and can easily be understood for comparison.
  • Considering the benefits of infographics in online marketing, it aids the SEO functions by earning incoming links in accordance with subsequent increase in traction.
  • Being a visual representation, the inclusion of the brand’s logo would go a long way in promoting and sustaining market position for the business. However this requires proper placement of the logo within the acceptable confines of premium positioning in the infographic.
  • Another benefit pertains to the portrayal of one’s expertise which is achieved by making an effective comparison of internal data with data from the applicable industry, thereby providing a comprehensive portrayal of well researched data.

The Bad:

  • Infographics that are used solely for the purpose of increasing “linkbaits” have often resulted in poorly executed efforts. It is due to such poorly executed content that infographics having immense potential are not given due consideration.
  • In keeping with the amount of research required and the manner in which it is presented to the customers, infographics may be an expensive undertaking for small businesses. The costs incurred are high only when extremely striking infographics are to be made. Simple representations can be made at lower costs.
  • It is not uncommon for unrealistic expectations to be kept from infographics wherein the purpose tends to become focused on making the content viral rather than emphasizing on proper content creation with backed up facts and statistics to prove its worth. It is this expectation which at times has been known to cause more harm than good.
  • While it is feasible to outsource data for statistical representation, its use may not reflect the actual points of concern for the customers. In order to manage this, it is better to conduct research by identifying key points that have direct impact on the business as well as the consumers.

The New Perspective:

Simplicity shall always hold priority for creating impressive infographics. Proof of this may be seen in the infographic created by Dell which utilized a yes / no based flowchart for captivating the interests of programmers who are familiar with this type of representation. This helped the company to connect with its audience and potential customers. Current trends in infographics indicate the those with longer layouts with vertical flow of data would be successful in retaining their effectiveness in communicating the information to the audience. While the best practices for infographics may have possible differing aspects, the need for incorporating innovative methods to captivate audiences has gained paramount significance especially in light of the widespread use of infographics which poses the risk of obsoletion.

The infographic designs that are presented currently mainly comprise of static graphical representation of data that is provided in interesting ways to the audience. However, there is a dire need for improving the presentation methods for achieving the next level of infographics. One such possible approach would be to use Parallax Scrolling which is the key transition for conventional designs to be presented as interactive web pages. The reason behind its potential effectiveness lies in the fact that the images in the foreground move either slowly or independently in comparison to the images in the background. This results in an interactive experience for the user wherein the content needs to be scrolled or moved in order to see further information.

Some of the benefits of using this relatively new approach include enhanced interaction, better user retention, faster captivating rates, and increased sharing of content. This is really crucial in driving more traffic to the intended web pages. Another benefit of using parallax scrolling pertains to the fact that the text can be made to crawl. This facility enables infographics to be positioned at the bottom of the layout and transcribing it accordingly. Additionally, internal links from the content itself may be provided which is practically better than transcribing the same.

From the marketing perspective, parallax scrolling enables infographic to be re-purposed easily. This results in the infographic being submitted to dedicated directories, online document sharing platforms and creation of micro-blogs, There is even the possibility of these infographics being turned into video presentations if the content and its purpose permits it. The question about parallax scrolling becoming the infographic template of the future still remains unanswered but possibilities are constrained only by the limits of one’s creativity.