The Infographic Overload

With the world’s preference leaning more towards the digital medium of information receiving, infographics have become the new one-minute tabloids. People prefer to gain their insight and knowledge through infographics over the traditional printed collaterals. However, over the time information overload has become a huge problem. A simple infographic contains more text and graphics than a full newspaper page. This coupled with the decreasing attention span of the audience has become a huge challenge.

The average person puts five seconds of attention to any digital content and if it is engaging and appealing then the information is further sustained, processed and retained. Hence the first impression is most important. To create an eye-appealing infographic text and design should be ideally arranged into the 4X3X1 mood board matrice, that corresponds to:

Four is the maximum number of colours that should be in the infographic,
Three is the maximum type of fonts that should be used &
One is the maximum number of elements that should be animated, as gifs receive more response over plain text infographics.

Another key feature of an infographic is the negative space- the background that remains empty with no text or design. Negative spaces make the infographic more appealing to the eyes and makes it easier for the recipient to read and follow. An overloaded infographic is mostly skipped and creates a negative affect on the reader.

Colour too plays a very important role in an infographic. The selection of colours should be appropriate as per the message conveyed. Sober announcements should be complemented with softer colours and delicate designs. As a rule:

Too much content= soft pastel colours
Too less content- bright vivid colours

The last and the key features of any infographic is the content- the text. Text has two components: the font and the volume.

Font of any infographic should be easy to read, gone are the days of cursive and calligraphy. These font styles are mostly overwhelming for the reader and skipped over. While they may look appealing to the designer, the average reader tends to dislike it. Another done away with font style is the loony and comic style. Unless the infographic is made for children, this style should be avoided at all costs.

Alongwith the font style- the font size and the case of words is equally important. Font size should be chosen as such that the reader who has weak eyesight can also read the infographic without having the need to enlarge the picture. Hence, an infographic should be limited to 300 characters. While most people find typing in capital letters appealing, not many know that capital letters denote shouting. So if one purports to send a message in high pitch tone then only one should type in capital letters. Capital letters are not meant for showing excitement, that is conveyed by three exclamation marks at the end of the word/sentence. Often the use of capital letters is inappropriate.

Finally within the content falls the statistical diagrams- bar, pie etc. A statistical diagram should be treated as a design component and not a part of the content. Hence, an infographic with text and statistical diagrams should be just placed on a plain background and the design completes itself.

In short, an effective infographic is the one that has well placed text and design. One should not feel compelled to add more elements to it as the higher the number of elements, the lower will be the audience response and engagement.

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