Everybody needs an infographic.
As generic as it sounds, it is very true. All of us want an excellent result, when we have to share in social networks, and the cover of big websites and communication media or even reach specific goals of conversion rates. The designers wants to work and create a final piece, that makes them proud and include them in their portfolio. And the users... well they prefer look for somehting new that is beautiful, informative, original and also great for sharing: all at once.
Then, how can we make a great infographic ?
In the past, we talked about the making of viral infographics and the paper of story, the data and the design play a big role there.
But viral is not as equal as a great in a more conservative way: a solid piece, informative, ethic, and that is well designed and ejected without problems. An example: the infographics, Why do startups fail ? It is simple, and very fun. In fact, one of the most popular grahphics that we designed so far. But, would this one win an MALOFIEJ 21 award now or in the next year? I doubt it.
Creating an infographic that is succesfull at the eyes of the client is very hard, but not impossible. Starting from our projects and the failed ones, we finally discovered the key ingredients for sharing them with pride.
1. The idea
Every succesfull infographic start in the same way - with a great idea. To reach this idea, it is necessary to think as a journalist. Journalists, work with cycles. For example in November we all talk about peronal finances in December all write about the expenses and savings of the holidays. In January the debts and the famous January slope. February: love and money. And so on. Every year, the stories are similar, if not the same. So everyone looks for new angles or interesting ways to tell those stories. Some are successful, but many go unnoticed.
2. The data
Many professionals of visual journalism and data visualization, especially in the academic community, start with a set of data and investigate the stories of the content and enriching them. That's a great way to find new and interesting stories, if it has a good set of data to work with. But in the corporate world, many marketing managers or product managers don´t take the risk of having their data tell a story they will not like.
So projects often start with an idea, followed by the search for the data that supports it. If the idea is focused and flexible (in other words, we can change if the data found points to a different or more interesting direction). However, the search for information to support and visualize is often a futile search. These are usually cases in which you have to resort to dubious sources or even modify the data in order to tell the story as requested.
This is wrong because the credibility of the infographic requires sources of information and reliable data. Credibility is the key word, since nobody will share with your contacts on Twitter or Facebook or any social network if you have any doubt that the information is inconsistent. Remember, infographics is not an advertising flyer.
3.Have the will to summarize and let go of certain things
Often, we find more data than is needed to make just one infographic. And that's perfectly fine, as long as the client agrees to exclude something (or a lot!) of the piece we're working on. Trying to say everything in a single infographic almost always results in a piece that nobody wants to read: because there is too much information in it and it becomes overwhelming, or because it lacks a real story.
4. Honesty and also to be humble
Think that the new product of your company or your factory is interesting enough to be shown in an infographic ?. Unless your new product is the cure for cancer or your new factory has been built on the Moon ... most probably is that the mayority of people doesn´t care.A brand-centric approach and overwhelming self-promotion will make it very difficult, if not impossible, to attract the interest and reception of media and large websites. Even if you have super interesting data and never before published, try to present them in the way a respected editor would: focusing on the data and the history, not the brand.
5. Trust Rely on experienced professionals.
Creating infographics is nothing special, but requires knowledge and techniques of journalism, editing, data analysis and design. Trust that people do the best job they can.Being a client too controlling or not trusting the infographic team, will only drive them away, lose their confidence and even worse: they will lose their creativity and desire to produce a great infographic.