"As Beth Kanter remarked on a public Google Plus thread about creating useful infographics, “I think that information visualization is a necessity in this age of data overload and seeing the forest beyond the trees.” I agree with that statement, and personally jump to view the “shiny new storytelling toy” whenever I see an infographic. Infographics represent an exciting new storytelling avenue for nonprofit organizations, enabling them to share important data stories, visually."
I don't know how I missed this post by colleague and fellow curator Debra Askanase but it's a good one!
Debra makes the point that infographics can and should tell a story. She then gives tips on how to do so and resources to use.
And I love the infographic at the top of the article! It's a perfect example of one that blends both data and storytelling elements.
What are the story elements an infographic can use to be more effective?
- It needs to be emotionally engaging in ways that offer people a way to make a difference
- A beginning, middle & end with a story arc
- Statement of a problem and ways for resolution
- Story triggers -- graphics and words that trigger stories within the minds of viewers
- A point, a key message
- Suggested actions to take
Not all infographics need to tell a story. Before embarking on creating an infographic, ask yourself the following strategic questions:
- Who is my target audience?
- What important information does my target audience need or want to hear?
- Is the purpose of the infographic to share information, educate people, or create a context for understanding an issue?
- Is the purpose of the infographic to spark action -- either donations, support, or advocacy?
- What is my key message? What do I want my viewers to take away from the experience?
If you answered YES to #4, then you need your infographic to tell a story. If you answered YES to #3, then your infographic only needs to convey information.
Go read the article for more great infographic insights.