Infographics: The Eye Candy of Content Strategy
I’m a word nerd from way back, but I will be the first to admit that there are plenty of times that a great image kicks the stuffing out of a great hunk of well-crafted prose.
Why? In my estimation, there are three reasons.
Case in point: Much as people like to hate on Ikea’s directions, you have to admit, they’re easy to follow. Why? They’re just pictures. (And pictures that even my 7-year-old can ably follow.) Compare that to the lengthy, multi-language user manuals that often accompany other DIY projects, and it’s a clear win. Who the heck really knows what a “flat-top flange” is, anyway?
We all know the Web rule that people don’t read, they skim. And skip. And glance. That makes it hard for prose — even elegant, spit-shined prose — to grab people and hold their interest if it’s longer than a few lines. Compare that to a compelling infographic. A clever, well-presented image can hold your attention in a way that no block of text can.
Sure, there are charts. And bullet points. And lots of other textual ways to present information. But when you’re trying to convey a boatload of ideas in a simple way, nothing beats an infographic. Here’s one that has always sucked me in:
It’s by Richard Ingram, an innovative, UK-based content strategist who here has very adeptly summarized the various skills, talents, and experience sets that combine to make up the field of “content strategy.” I love this infographic so much that I have it in poster form on my wall.
Want to know more about great infographics? Check out these resources:
- Scatter/Gather’s Lisa Park talks about Infographics: The Good, The Bad, and the Fluffy and how to evaluate them in the context of a content audit.
- Cool Infographics provided some nice examples and thinking about, well, cool infographics.
- Finally, the Infographics for Dummies blog walks through some simple strategies for creating your own infographics and provides some nice insight into what makes a good one.