Visualizing information can be empowering, dramatic, and “magical”. Often it is taken for granted how impactful information design can be in our everyday lives. Its an art form that has gone from being a “nice add on”, to a necessary asset. But why does it work? What makes visualizing information so effective?
It adds weight to reports:
In the past few years, businesses such as IBM have taken more care to visualize their reports in a more shareable formats. Agencies and Marketing firms now publish “case studies” and information graphics jam packed with digestible facts and visuals speaking to their products. Data in this context is comforting, giving solid proof that it’s information is backed up. In addition, making the data easily digestible as pictures and visual stories makes its readership feel smarter.
Visuals are a good resting place:
If you hand in a presentation and it contains paragraphs after paragraphs of information, the viewer probably won’t have the attention span to follow it. According to a survey by Digiday and Chute, 94.6% of respondents find visual content over 2x more effective then text content. Pictures are way more entertaining the text as they are quick to capture complex messages in a relatable media.
They look luxurious:
Whether a series of charts, cartoons, or icons, graphic treatment looks more laborious. According to the Digiday State of Industry Report, 68% of marketers deem original graphic designs and illustrations to be of a higher value of time and labour. In addition, they are on of the most effective visual assets of choice across desktop and mobile devices.
They do not need to be “fancy”:
There has been a wide range of infographs and data visualization sweeping the social media channels in the past few years. When you look at great imaginative minds, such as xkcd and David McCandless, often they used very basic techniques to bring stories to life. A visualization doesn’t have to be an oil painting to be impactful, so long as the message is clear.
Translating information into visuals is useful:
When delivering materials, adding a few visualizations means going the extra mile of taking a message from being “interesting” to being “useful”. It’s one thing to write about how a block chain works, it’s another to show an example that can be easily shared.
Visualizing Information is adds flavor and depth across medias and industry. From textbook diagrams, to sales process flows, they are improving the way people learn and communicate.