If infographics are the new hotness, the least infographic makers can do is spare us from bad infographics.
A poor infographic design completely negates any good information contained in the image (and don’t get me started on infographics full of nothing but fluff information or outdated statistics).
Good infographic pointers:
1) Relay solid information in a fact-based story arc leading to a single vital point or conclusion in a concise way using good, easy to understand graphics
2) Make HTML infographics, not the usual bitmap infographics
(example: The State of the Internet Now! Notice how alive it is, and how concisely the information is displayed on the page)
3) Keep the information above the fold! We hate scrolling to read a mile-long infograhic. It detracts from your facts and your story.
(bad infographic example: This infographic on Work-Related Stress Deaths may contain great info, but I stopped caring as soon as I had to a) zoom in to see it b) start scrolling, scrolling, scrolling, scrolling….)
(better infographic example: This infographic on how the US highway system mapped like subways is great – it’s above the fold and highlights information on scroll over.)
4) Don’t make me download a PDF to read your infographic. It’s rude. Open in the browser. If you want to have a download or print option, fine, but don’t make it automatic. I dislike that as much as I dislike auto playing video and audio on a website.
5) Don’t blind the reader with garish, clashing colors or text that is too small. There is no substitute for good design. Make your infographics easy to read.
6) Put your infographic to the napkin test. Pre-map it to make sure your information and decision paths make sense.
In the end this popular information tool has become popular for marketing businesses instead of just relaying ideas and knowledge. That’s fine, but you can’t lose the knowledge element in your quest for marketing.