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The importance of clear infographics

Richard Bell

Infographics are becoming an increasingly popular way to reach an online audience. For many, these engaging visuals are a fast, entertaining way to deliver otherwise dry statistics, but is the trend for creating exciting and unique graphics getting in the way of their ‘information’ aspect?

When I was studying history, the first  principle we were taught is to always look at our source data before we even began studying the content. For example, a news article published by a broadsheet owned by a Whig in the 18th Century was hardly likely to be complementary to the Tories. The devil, as they say, is in the detail.

Infographics are an incredibly useful way to capture an audience’s interest but, as with all statements of facts, they must never be done to the detriment of the truth, with clarity remaining another key component. Social media is awash with infographics that look great, state something appealing, but lack substance when it comes to background proof.

With 63.5% of statistics being made up (Just as that one was), it’s important to be clear, honest and accurate with the information that you are using. Also, don’t get too carried away with the presentation, as your audience will thank you and be more likely to trust what you are saying.

Talking about your target demographic, they may be time poor and appreciate the speed by which an important statistic, key point or statement is delivered via an infographic. However, when it comes to trust, no one can afford for their brand or name to be in doubt. As such, a quality infographic should:

• Inform its audience
• Engage quickly
• Be easy to understand
• Contain source details
• Be accurate
• Not be too complex (or too simple).

Whilst a headline-grabbing infographic marketed at the right time might have all the shareabilty you could ask for, if its content is in doubt then you are exposing your name or brand’s reputation to disrepute.

Richard has a First in English Literature and Creative Writing, and has experience writing fiction and short stories (which he has published both online and in magazines).

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