Text may not always be the best form of conveying information. If we talk about digital and statistical data, then graphs, charts and other methods of visual demonstration are best suited here. The next stage of data visualization can be called infographics, where graphs coexist with illustrations and in which storytelling techniques can be used.
To make your infographic easy to read and convenient, follow these rules:
All data visualization is done so that the reader can process certain information faster and easier. It would be more appropriate to show the conventional three paragraphs of text explaining the trend of global warming in the form of three graphs in one image. So a person does not waste time reading and processing each line, but literally at one glance covers and perceives all the information.
Choosing the right way to visualize your data is the bulk of the work. Certain chart formats may not work in some cases. For example, pie charts are not very suitable for comparing indicators, and the sum of all parts should not exceed 100%, otherwise it will only confuse the audience.
Observe the consistency and logical structure of visualization, do not interfere with data and do not create house on the chart. The data in the image should be understandable not only by reading the descriptions, but also by a cursory glance. It is important here not to overdo it with creativity and not make the infographic too complex.
It is also important to adhere to the same visual style in the presentation of data. It should not differ in one material or project, otherwise such changes will interfere with the reader’s understanding of the information. Even if different indicators are mentioned within the framework of one project, they should all have a similar design.
Do not try to fit several layers of data on one chart at once if this interferes with the perception of information. It is better to divide such work into several charts, in which it will be easier to understand individually than in one, but overloaded with numbers. As an exception, only data comparisons are suitable. Even so, it is important to choose the right visualization format.
Separately, it should be said about the detailing of charts in general. There is no need to pile them up with unnecessary lines, indicators and other details if they are not important. This will facilitate the entire visualization and nothing will distract the reader from the essence of the graph.
Read also our material on how to present a strategy in 6 slides.
In general, it is not always possible to make high-quality infographics without text, signatures and footnotes. Therefore, you need to carefully place the explanations without interfering with the visual storytelling. Depending on the scale and type of the graph, textual explanations can be placed in different places: on the columns themselves or in the chart, as a highlighted footnote, or as a separate line on an empty spot in infographics. The main thing is to choose the option that will facilitate the perception of information and will not interfere with its visualization.
Working with color
Do not dazzle with all the colors of the rainbow, and do not play with halftones. Diagrams should be clearly distinguished by contrasting colors. Halftones in this case will only be confusing. It is important to show data of the same type in the same color, otherwise such visualization will not be useful at all.
Separately, it should be said about the well-established rules of color solutions. For example, we are accustomed to the fact that green indicates something positive or permissive, and red has a forbidding tone. Correctly selected colors help in the intuitive understanding of infographics.
Data visualization can be either static or in the form of a short video. The rules described in this article are suitable for any format of infographics and will make it easier for your audience to perceive it.