Back to the future with infographics

By Jacqui O'Brien by Jacqui O'Brien

Infographics are a visual tool to summarise knowledge, key insights and data on any given topic. It’s a persuasive piece of communication that marries data and design to tell an engaging story.

To say they have become increasingly popular is an understatement. We have more data being generated, tracked and consumed than ever before; especially with everyday consumer items such as smartphones, fitness trackers and the Apple Watch. A good infographic displays information in such a way that the viewer can quickly comprehend the message, with clear and concise points, in a visually appealing way. Living in a world with more data being collected than ever before, what will the future hold for infographics? Is this the beginning of a visual revolution or just a marketing trend? This is an important question, especially for those who are making serious investments in the medium, such as publishers and marketers.

With popularity comes novelty. The novelty of infographics may be declining but not their value. Jason Lankow from Fast Co Design states ‘…the popularity of infographics does not limit the opportunity to use the medium to create something of quality and utility. The data boom and growing need to display complex concepts simply ensures that these opportunities for graphic visualizations will continue to grow.’

Infographics have taken on a new face in the last few years, with a bit of help from the internet. Among the more available visual content online, infographics are extremely prevalent information resources, especially via mobile devices. Static graphics are by far the most common medium, likely due to the fact that they are the easiest to create and host. An image file that is simple to download, upload and re-post is more appealing, interesting and shareable.
Interactive infographics are becoming more common. These allow designers to visualize multiple layers of data in a single interface, while providing a dynamic user experience for the viewer. Further to this, infographics are being brought to life with animation and motion. These motion graphics are usually narrative-based, and use a combination of illustration, data visualization and kinetic text to inform a viewer on a particular topic. Normally in the form of an explainer video, which is valuable in walking the viewer through an explanation, process or presenting an opinion.

User-Interface Design 
is a very new evolution of the medium. It’s the cross-over between web development and information design. Incorporating infographics and its principles into user-interface design, allows something as stale as financial information to become dynamic and encourage user interaction.

This is an archived post from our predecessor The JOB Creative. 

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