Updated: Aug 28
Last week we discussed why you should visualize your data to tell the story your research results uncovered. Creating a visual story helps to lead the viewer through the insights discovered. One of the best techniques to visualize your data is through an Infographic. An infographic is a visual graphic used to present information, data, or knowledge quickly and clearly. Presenting information in a visual format helps people to see patterns and trends. There are seven types of infographics frameworks to communicate your research findings, story, or message visually. Infographics showcase focused data with good design to tell a story in a clear and concise manner that can be understood and relatable by your target audience. There are three basic rules to making a great infographic; engaging data, smart graphics, and a captivating title.
When creating your infographic, in adherence to the three basic rules, make sure you use data that is only relevant to your story. You likely uncovered several interesting items from your research, however, for your infographic, stick to the data that speaks to your research objective. Using “smart” graphics means limiting your color palette, think about your brand, and use that palette. Make sure your graphics are simple and tie to your data and incorporate at least 1 data visualization that ties back to the data from your research. When it comes to using text, use your graphics to tell the story and use as little text as possible. When using text, make sure it’s easy to read and stick to 1 or 2 font types. Ultimately your graphics should tell the story of your research objective so that your target audience can quickly understand the information your research uncovered.
While this makes sound like a lot of work, you have already invested time in deciding on your research objective, designing, implementing, and analyzing the data. Now it’s time for the show and presentation matters. Luckily for you, there are plenty of options when it comes to infographic design. Three applications highlighted below can get you started for free.
Easelly is a website application that offers hundreds of professionally designed templates that offers drag-and-drop features so that you can change out text, colors, graphics, and images to match your brand. You can also upload your own images and graphics. Once finished, you can download your infographic in a variety of formats, share it with a colleague to proof and make edits (double-check the spelling, grammar, and math) or embed it on a webpage. You can create your infographic for free, and if you like it, you can access the full library of templates, illustrations, and images for just $5.00 a month.
Canva is another popular graphic design application for non-designers. Canva also offers almost 300 infographic templates that are pre-designed and can be customized for your brand. Their infographic maker helps you to create better designs, customize with your brand kit (logo, colors, and fonts). Canva offers design sizing, logo makers (if you don’t have one), photo editing tools, different font types, and graphs. You can use their design elements or upload your own. Canva offers a free version, a mobile app so you can make and access your designs on the go or try their pro version for $9.95 a month.
Visme is another online tool that provides hundreds of professionally design infographic templates or build your own from pre-designed content blocks. Like Canva and Easelly, Visme extends beyond just infographics to offer templates for presentations, social media, website, video, reports, graphs, charts, animation, and printables. One fun additional feature Visme offers are its ability to make interactive infographics. You can embed polls, forms, tweets, Google, or Bing maps right into your presentation. There is also audio, video, and image stock that you can embed into your infographic. Once you are ready, you can download it as a PDF or an image or share it on the web. Visme offers free accounts and if you find that you want to take advantage of their application features and have unlimited projects and premium features, their subscriptions start at $25 a month.
Visualizing your data brings your research journey to a close. How you visualize your data is as important as the findings of your research. Your time is important and you certainly don’t want to spend your time defining, organizing, and analyzing your data only to have it ignored or misunderstood. Utilizing applications with pre-made templates can provide the basic frameworks for you to edit and customize to deliver a branded, well-organized story with smart graphics and clean design.