Infographic Infographics [infographic]

Infographics are a zeitgeist of social media, with links appearing to one of these posters in almost every other tweet for those who work in the industry. Are we in danger of provoking infographic fatigue?

As experts in both social media and data analysis, we find infographics a fascinating part of the modern social media landscape.

Scroll down to see the collection of infographic infographics

From cave paintings to the iconic London underground map, infographics have long been part of our language for communicating data.

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At their best, infographics provide plenty of otherwise complex information in a digestible, interesting and visually appealing series of images. hosts a plethora of amazing examples of good infographics.

Some of the best things about them are:

  • Attention – in the ADD world of the internet, snapshots of info are more appealing than spreadsheets of data
  • Data – Lots of information at a glance, with more room for emotive representation than raw data affords
  • Text – a picture is worth a thousand words. With annotations, it’s worth a million
  • Colour – there are semantics to colour, and different styles can be used to effectively convey meaning
  • Interactivity – always a draw for users, interactive infographics are very popular

At their worst, they are a useless poster that reveals little information and can actually be more annoying to look at than a simple number can be.

Potential shortcomings:

  • Don’t always add anything to a simple text version. All to often infographics are little more than an obscure way of showing a few numbers
  • Poor for SEO, as the text is embedded within the image
  • Not great for visually-impaired users
  • Mobiles can struggle to display them, especially ones which necessitate lots of scrolling
  • Statistics don’t show working, and are regularly unverifiable. Plucking numbers from nowhere, the data can be incredibly misleading, badly re-appropriated or irrelevant.

Here are two examples of a good and bad infographic on exactly the same topic!

We’ve found a few neat little infographics that are all about infographics, just to meta things up a bit. Thanks to Ivan Cash, Zabisco, Laughing Squid and The Society Pages for providing these images.

Comments: 2

  • I’m hooked on Pinterest and Infographics. I’m not surprised that both have caught on and agree that quality will win the day. I think the poorly constructed infographics will not be shared and those that hit the mark, regardless of SEO, which can be overcome by a good article…

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