Chapter 2 - Ideation and Research

Start Developing an Initial Idea or Theme

Now that you have some good data that is related to the industry and audience, it’s time to turn it into a concrete concept for an infographic.

Start by asking yourself a few questions about the goals for your infographic.

If you haven’t already done so, collect all of the data, facts, and ideas you have for the infographic. Review the data while asking yourself the following questions:

  • What message, process, dataset, or product do I want to explain?
  • What feeling do I want to evoke within the reader?
  • What action do I want to drive the reader to take?
  • What does the audience want to know? Why?
  • Do I have enough data to create a data visualization?

Use the questions to share a few initial ideas for your infographic.

Once you have drilled down to a few broad ideas, make sure that your idea is worthy of being turned into an infographic. Don’t hit any of the common pitfalls of infographic ideas.

Never be promotional

Don’t use an infographic as an advertisement. If your idea is too heavily associated with a brand or product, it will come across as salesy and turn off audiences.

If you want to talk about your industry or company, do it in an interesting, non-promotional way:

  • Show something the audience will find useful that relates to your industry or company 
  • Show bizarre or fascinating facts about your industry or company
  • Tell a story about your industry or company (history, how it’s made, how it compares to other industries, etc.)

Don’t be overly complex

Ease of understanding is at the base of an infographic. If your infographic concept is too complicated, cut it down to make it more manageable. If your idea takes more than a sentence to explain, revise it until you can comfortably explain it briefly.

Don’t be overly simplified either

On the other hand, don’t choose an idea that is obvious or easy. Audiences want to learn or see something new from an infographic. Don’t give them something that is common knowledge, boring, or obvious.

Don’t use data for the sake of data

Only show data that tells a story. Remember people don’t remember numbers, they remember relationships. Only include data that has interesting stories, don’t throw in numbers just because they are numbers.

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