10 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Infographic Design
There is a love-hate relationship between statistics and content consumers.
How you ask? We’ll tell you.
Numbers and reports relevant to the content can make your blogs, articles or even newsletters look more credible and feel more engaging. However, numbers and statistics can be overwhelming.
So, how do you create something that conveys a lot of information within a small space? Something that incorporates numbers and facts but keeps the interface interactive? You use the secret ingredient that most marketers vouch for – an infographic.
The concept of infographics is not new to us. In fact, in the 1700s when William Playfair, a Scottish political economist, introduced graphical methods of representing statistical data, the concept of data visualizations kicked off.
Pursuing this path, today, you will find infographics almost everywhere. To communicate important information. Or to show proof that a product or service works.
Well, infographics are great for marketing and customer engagement both. But that is possible only with the right design. A poorly designed infographic can plummet audience engagement by complicating data for them. So, it is important to understand the common infographic design flaws and how to avoid them.
But first, let’s quickly take a look at why brands are so serious about infographics.
- Why Infographics Are Good for Your Brand’s Marketing Strategies
- Ways to Use Infographics to Your Advantage
- 10 Critical Design Flaws That Are Killing the Effectiveness of Your Infographics
- 1. Data visualization inaccuracies
- 2. Information overload
- 3. A cluttered layout
- 4. Data visualization complexities
- 5. Non-hierarchical presentation of data
- 6. Lack of balance in the visual elements
- 7. Undue attention to aesthetics
- 8. Poor choice of colors
- 9. Visible inconsistencies in design
- 10. Other things that could go wrong
- Kimp Graphics Service to Create Stunning Infographics
Why Infographics Are Good for Your Brand’s Marketing Strategies
- An infographic presents easily consumable nuggets of information displaying data in a straightforward layout.
- Infographics are good for your website SEO and they can significantly boost your website traffic.
- It is easy to share and it makes a great piece of visual content to initiate conversations on social media. That’s one reason why 65% of brands use infographics in their marketing.
- It taps into the strengths of data visualization to create more compelling copies for marketing.
- The art of storytelling is the much-needed trait of a good marketing campaign and infographics are good at telling visual stories. You can also use this format to creatively capture a snapshot of your long-form content. The infographic can then act as a visual hook that gets more traffic to your expanded blog post.
Due to all these reasons and more, infographics have been popular in content marketing. In fact, according to a study by Wharton School of Business – 67% of the audience find a combination of text and visuals to be more persuasive.
So, if a business is looking to present a certain idea to its target audience, then an infographic might seem like the strongest tool to use.
Ways to Use Infographics to Your Advantage
Now that we know how beneficial infographics are, you may be wondering about their direct applications. Here is a handful of ideas on where to use infographics to your advantage.
- Year-in-review emails to customers or clients or even to your employees
- Informative social media posts
- Presenting observations of a recent research
- Presenting comparison data to influence customer shopping behavior
As you can see, the possibilities are endless as creative marketers keep identifying new ways to use infographics.
10 Critical Design Flaws That Are Killing the Effectiveness of Your Infographics
1. Data visualization inaccuracies
Double-checking the data you present to your audience would be critical even for predominantly text-based content like blogs. And for graphical representations like infographics where there is both text and numbers you should be extra cautious about checking for data errors before you publish the content.
Infographics are seen as “easily shareable” visual content. So, if you include the wrong data visualization and if the content is shared across social media, your business’ reputation is at stake.
One common issue occurs with numbers you use in your pie charts and other graphical representations. If the values do not add up in a pie chart, or if the text on a bar in a bar chart is different from the value indicated on the axes, it can bring down the overall credibility of the post.
The scale of the graphical elements would be another aspect to check carefully. In a bubble chart, for example, if the bubble sizes are directly proportional to the numerical values, the bubble for a value of 10 cannot be larger than a bubble for a value of 100.
Always use reliable sources for references and provide citations wherever possible. For graphical representations, use reliable data visualization tools to generate pie charts and other elements. When you finish your design, see if the numbers all add up wherever they should.
2. Information overload
An infographic must make things simpler to grasp but poor design can actually backfire by complicating things that were once clear. This usually happens when you try to present too much information on a single page.
For example, you are planning to create an infographic that shows the most popular graphic design trends for the coming year. You start by listing down the trends in short sentences and adding relevant stats for emphasis. If you stop there, it is going to be a good design.
But if you end up presenting the background information or start explaining too much about the trend in the infographic itself, you would be complicating things. Instead, present the points in the visual representation and cover a detailed blog where you explain each trend and even add examples or ideas.
The first step in designing an infographic should be the identification of the objective. And once this objective is clear, make an outline of all the data you want on your infographic. Before you freeze the copy or design try and eliminate all the unwanted bits in the design. Any information that makes the whole message vague or adds ambiguity will be out of place in an infographic.
3. A cluttered layout
Remember that clutter is the biggest enemy of good design. Clutter in infographics can be because of too much information or poor organization of the information.
Even when you have all the useful information that your audience would love to hear about, if you do not present them in a harmonious layout, it would not fulfill the purpose of your infographic.
First comes the quality of your data and then the way you present them. Remember that legibility is one of the primary reasons why you use infographics so you cannot miss that in your design. Cramming up too many pie charts, adding large-sized text content close to the charts, or ignoring the need for white spaces in your design can all add to the visual clutter.
To avoid clutter in your infographics, start by identifying the most relevant data visualization methods for the data you present. Try not to combine too many of them on the same page.
Kimp Tip: Keeping as few elements in your infographics as possible is a good idea. But the other main step to reduce clutter will be to intuitively use negative spaces. The right use of negative spaces will make the design look more organized.
Here’s an example of how adding the right spaces can make your design look crisp.
Want to create clear and easy-to-understand infographics like the one above? Get in touch with the Kimp Team today.
4. Data visualization complexities
Data visualization is one of the main components of many types of infographics. This involves a pictorial representation of the data that you are trying to capture and present to your audience. The rest of the content in your infographic might build over this graphical representation.
Ineffective data visualization can be due to the wrong choice of graphical representation type or due to the use of a graph or chart that your audience would not understand. There are different contexts where you use data visualization, namely comparison, relationship, and distribution.
Based on the context you should choose the right type of chart to use. Histograms, scatter charts, column charts – the options are plenty but will the people accessing the infographics understand them all? Remember, the data you present will be of no significance if the reader does not understand how to interpret the presented chart type.
Trying to be too creative, if you pick a chart type that the common audience would not understand, it might be a vague representation and you might not get the engagement expected.
Unless the infographic is particularly for experts in data analytics and business intelligence or professionals who know their way around different types of graphical representations, resort to simpler charts as much as possible.
And remember that in many cases, even if there are numbers, they might sometimes be unrelated data. Plotting them on a common graph might seem pointless. So, remember not to use charts and graphs for the sake of it.
5. Non-hierarchical presentation of data
Once you have eliminated the clutter in your infographic design, the next thing to evaluate would be the visual hierarchy in it. What is the answer that your reader comes looking for? How do they arrive at the conclusion? If you cannot find out, then this would be a concern to address immediately.
Have you seen how flowcharts simplify the presentation of a solution to a problem? Try to work on your infographics on similar lines. There should be a start point, a direction, and a clear endpoint for your infographic. Doing this will make your infographic look like a visual story rather than an odd combination of some random visual elements and text content.
You should define the hierarchy or the flow of your infographic. Use a flowchart to create an outline if required and this will help you understand how to position your elements so as to create a fluidity in your infographic. To define visual directions you can use different distributions of visual weights or even add arrows for a simpler approach. Visual hierarchy is crucial to creating a balanced design.
Kimp tip: Text, charts, symbols – an infographic has so many visuals in it. When you bring them all together it is important to check whether there is a natural flow or direction in the presentation.
Want to be sure that your infographic is not a chaotic mix of visual elements? Work with Kimp’s graphic design team to get advanced infographic designs for your brand.
6. Lack of balance in the visual elements
Most people remember nearly 65% of the information they grasp through visuals. So, a good infographic ideally has a healthy mix of text, numbers, charts or graphs, tables, and other elements. If any one of these happens to be present in larger proportions than the others, there is a significant loss in design balance and the effectiveness of your infographic as well.
Too much text makes your infographic appear no different from your blog. Too many icons or illustrations without supportive textual information will make the infographic look like any other multimedia post you share.
When it comes to text, aim for brevity. And for numbers, use them in relevant places. But make sure that emphasize the important numbers in the design for easier understanding. And when it comes to other design elements, go for distinguishable variety. For example, if you present one type of information in a table, use an easy-to-understand chart to represent another. Before you freeze the design make sure that none of these elements are in excess.
7. Undue attention to aesthetics
Of course, people use infographics because they make even your boring data look cool but that does not mean that you can be biased towards the aesthetic of your infographic. You should aim for creating a visually appealing design without missing the core information in the whole process.
Sometimes undue attention to the aesthetics of an infographic would come in the form of using too many ornate elements. The use of symbols and icons helps create hierarchies and priorities within the design but using too many of these elements might distract the reader from what really matters.
If you start using too many funky or experimental font styles in order to make your infographic look more attractive, the resulting design might also look a little unprofessional.
When you define the objective of your infographic, make a note of the audience type, the kind of emotion you wish to trigger through this design, and also the mood of the data being conveyed. With this, you can easily pick essential and meaningful aesthetic add-ons that make an impact on your audience.
Kimp Tip: When you see an attractive infographic and try to incorporate similar visual elements in yours, it might not always work. An infographic, unlike other types of visuals, is not always about aesthetics.
Kimp’s experience in handling advanced infographics will come in handy if your business needs to present visually appealing data to your customers or investors.
8. Poor choice of colors
The wrong choice of colors could be because of choosing too many colors or choosing colors that are totally irrelevant to your brand design or even choosing shades that are very difficult to tell apart.
Picking shades that are hard to differentiate makes it difficult for readers to follow the legend and might also make the charts difficult to read on devices where the display brightness levels are low.
But that does not mean that you should be using too many different colors either. This will lead to the lack of a visual balance.
If you need to impart a refined look to your infographic, stay away from blaring color contrasts. For situations that warrant the use of bright colors, like an infographic targeting the youth or something that needs to look energetic, try to incorporate muted neutrals like grays, whites, or blacks to balance the effect.
Do some research on color psychology so that you know the right kind of core colors to use in the infographic. Add a subtle flavor of your brand’s color scheme wherever possible.
If you cannot identify the right palette for your design, draw inspiration from online color palette generation tools; some of them even provide ideas based on the context. Or better yet, choose unlimited graphic design services and the graphic design team will help you choose the right colors for your infographic.
If putting together a color palette feels confusing, go with monochrome schemes like the one in the infographic design below.
9. Visible inconsistencies in design
When you have the right color combinations and a good mix of visual elements, is there anything else that could possibly go wrong with the design? Yes, if there is a lack of consistency in your infographic design, it could still affect the visual impact.
Inconsistencies could be in the form of irregular variations in typography and colors. Using too many different font styles would be a problem. Another could be the inconsistent choice of font sizes or colors. The colors you use for different sections in your infographic should also have meaningful discrimination.
Come up with a theme for your infographic by using cues from your brand’s overall design style and your target audience. Make a list of the different elements that will go into this infographic like text, graphics, and others. Categorize them as titles, body text, keywords, image captions, and so on. And finally, pick a color and a font for each of these categories.
For example, rather than using different colors from top to bottom, pick the same color for all tables and the same color for all bar charts in the infographic. With this, you can have meaningful repetitions of colors and font sizes so that the design looks consistent.
Kimp tip: Maintaining color consistencies in your infographics will make a huge difference. It makes your infographic easier to read and understand. With this, you can be sure that your customers get the information you are trying to tell them.
10. Other things that could go wrong
Besides the major design issues in infographics, there are other problems that can affect the user experience in some way.
- Excluding your brand identity
- Not paying attention to the title of the infographic
- Not considering the readability of the infographic on mobile devices
These might not have a direct impact on the aesthetics of your infographic but they affect the end results. Because they affect the experience.
While keeping all these design mistakes at bay, ensure that you also design mindfully for the smartphone user experience. Your infographic, when shared on social media, in particular, should look clear and convenient on all devices.
Kimp Graphics Service to Create Stunning Infographics
Brands sometimes have a great idea to convey and the best copy ready as well. But the infographic does not always turn out as they want. Designing an infographic is an art you learn with practice. To ensure that your infographic captures all the nitty-gritty of good design, work with a professional design team. Or choose a Kimp Graphics subscription.
Sign up for Kimp’s free trial today.