I was asked to put together an infographic for a class assignment. Infographics are like 5000 piece puzzles. They look fun at a distance, but once you start working you find yourself in a sea of small data points that don’t look like they will fit into a nice display.
Here is my finished puzzle, er… I… I mean “Infographic”
I am pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out. I compiled this on Microsoft PowerPoint.
Don’t pass out – stay with me for a moment! I know there are vast collections of data visualization software available at my fingertips, but I’ve played around with a lot of different programs and I haven’t stumbled on anything I click with. I also knew that I wanted my infographic to be rectangle for distribution on posters or websites.
But enough about that. I chose to make an infographic for female literacy rates around the world because getting young girls an education is something I have been actively apart of my whole life. I found the most complete information on female education information though the United Nations Children’s Fund State of the World 2012 education report. I created a map with Google Fusion Tables that showed each countries young female literacy rate. Coding that data took over two hours, but I am happy that I am displaying a map that I created and not one that I pulled off the internet. Then I added a small call-to-action via World Vision because I have been sponsoring a child through them since 2011 and I am familiar with their programs. World Vision is also recommended by UNICF Girl’s Education Initiative along side a handful of other organizations.
Here are my tips for creating an infographic
1. Be original and authentic. Infographics aren’t a cork board collage of pretty images. Create everything yourself and don’t hesitate to do something nontraditional. The way we visualize data changes week to week – maybe your original design will be popular soon.
2. Know your audience. Creating information for a specific audience will make any communication easier.
3. Use color wisely. If you have time to get fancy and match color palettes then skip this tip. I fought with the world map to make the colors different but in the end I had to be okay with green. However, with the pink lady icons I was able to adjust the brightness to give the illusion of fading color. The goal is to get a viewers eye to dance around the infographic and pick out key bits of information.