On Infographics

Recently, while it is awesome that infographics have been getting popular with much needed design focus, they have gone overboard with how the information is presented. 

Any time I come across an infograph with too much data, unnecessary elements, and no clear direction, I don’t even bother looking at it. An infograph should be able to tell the viewer, fairly quickly, what the main ideas are. Not make them sift through data that’s just been rearranged and made pretty. Relevant information should be grouped and irrelevant information should be pruned. Most importantly, the main idea needs to be arranged in such a way that the viewer goes “ah-ha!”. 

Presentation of the infograph and understanding how it is to be presented, is just as important as the infograph itself. Much of the infographs I see online, seem like they aren’t intended for viewing on the screen. Maybe they were intended as print posters and the digital version was just used online, but posters don’t always translate well to a screen. Digital infographs, like everything else viewed on a screen, are bound by the proportions of a monitor and should be designed accordingly. 

Data can be beautiful. When done well, infographs, can be both practical and an art piece.