All About Infographics: Claire Stokoe #Linklove:
Claire is going to take us on a journey of discovery… We’ll look at what an infographic really is and why people hate them. How to create the perfect sharable infographic. How to create the worst infographic on earth. How to make sure you give your infographic the best start in life imaginable. How to get the big links while not looking like an idiot, and how to do your job and not feel as though you’re sacrificing your passion.
Infographics, they are a great topic and controversial because of the abuse, and tricky because doing great infographics is not all that simple as we think.
Out of 5,000 infographics only 1.3% will give you an orgasm in 0.3 of a millisecond
That’s what Claire says and she starts showing amazing infographics, as the one representing the Web as a galaxy of nodes.
In order to do great infographics we must know the basics:
- Find the data;
- Sort the data;
- Arrange the data, which means visual representation of data, not throwing written content and data in a pretty design.
- Present the data
Infographics are not a paradigm shift and they are not new. People have been visually presenting data since way before the internet.
Understand the clients needs, then select the topic, do the researching. Finally, gather the data and plan a narrative.
Once you have a narrative planned sketch the ideas, do the editing and the designing and test the results.
Do you think it is finished? It’s not. You have to think about the hosting and the promotion of the infographics and analyse the result.
And everything should be done in conjunction with the data.
More over, we should not forget that not all graphics are infographics. Actual data makes it much more interesting and actionable.
Even more important is that we must make our infographics easy to get data from. If they are cool but hard to read, that’s not an infographic.
Types of infographics
There are statistical infographics, as the ones Mashable usually publishes.
There are the geographical infographics, obviously based of maps and geopolitics and demographic data.
There are training and Timelines infographics, which have an educational purpose. Just think to site as National Geographic.
There are infographics, which could be defined as opinion piece. Claire cites the James Bond Ultimate Vehicles Guide infographic as an example.
Data must be sourced and sorted, which means doing analysis and understanding patterns in the data. And that understanding of data must be transformed into graphics.
Claire urges us to always having three targets when doing an infographic. For instance in the Bond “fashion” infographic case they were movie lovers, Bond lovers and fashion lover.
Finally, find a great sharer site. Go after highly sharable high PR sites first. It’s easier say: “will you share this, it’s been on Mashable”.
For outreach Claire suggests using LinkedIn, Google+, this one especially to discover other social profiles of the targets.
That’s why is important being available on a lot of social networks to get most relationships, but you don’t have to spend hours on each.
What about seasonal stuff? Go for it, because it is easy: bloggers want and adore seasonal infographics.
One thing is ultimately clear: you don’t have to pay for links, if you’re offering value instead of money.
How to make an infographics
Actually Claire prefers telling us how to not doing infographics:
- Header should tell exactly what the infographics is all about.
- Hooks. Do it well, also if they controversial.
- Path. Make it clear, following a narrative.
- Arty by simple
- Icons over text. Try and make the text on your infographics into icons. Don’t just use a lot of text.
- Colour palette. Use colourlovers.com for good palettes. You don’t want yo give your viewers headache.
- Reference your data sources in your infographics. Put Creative Commons on there so you can combat theft.
- Promote your infographic, make sure you know where it’s going to go.
Just few days after her speech at Linklove, Claire Stokoe published a post on Mediaworks.co.uk, where she presents the sites she uses to source data for infographics.
It is an über useful and explained list of sources, which – personally – is worth to cite in this recap as it is a natural extension of the Claire’s presentation.