Humans have always been visual creatures. Even when we simply talk amongst each other, we usual visual cues to better elucidate what we are trying to communicate. Whenever we utilize data, we prefer to use charts or graphs to demonstrate our point. It is this very basic human characteristic that makes Information graphics (aka “infographics”) so appealing, and this phenomenon has increased in popularity all over the internet.
Infographics are images, usually created in a very appealing fashion, created to convey information so that it is easily understood by the average individual. I personally enjoy how Cool Inforgraphics describes the concept via their tagline: “Charts and graphs can communicate data; inforgraphics turn data into information.”
I believe infographics are successful because of three things. 1) They are visual appealing, and as I mentioned already, when we can see something for ourselves, we are more inclined to believe it. 2) They effectively and succinctly show quantifiable data in a manner so that we can understand them. To better elaborate, humans typically don’t understand concepts that extend to far outside our normal realm. For example, it’s difficult to understand how much money a billion dollars is, or how small a single atom can be. With infographics, they can compare these extremes to more relavant material that we can mentally grasp. 3) At least with the “fun” inforgrpahics they have sprouted up on the internet, they always seem to be information that you wouldn’t necessarily think about, but nonetheless after reading it, you walk away impressed.
There already exists dozens, if not hundreds, of websites dedicated to paying tribute to infographics. Below are a few links, as well as a few infographics for your viewer pleasure.
“Visual representation of data is great for analytical study.” – Brad Bachelder