Career and Business lessons

5 ways of doing things differently with interactive infographics

If you have tons of data and you want to tell a good story, the interactive infographic might be a fantastic tool. Those graphics entice people to explore your content, and can also provide far more information than static ones. In this blog I would like to highlight my favorite interactive infographics.

Infographics

In every field of work there is a story to tell. Whether we are talking about the cupcakes industry, art or equal pay, in all of those topics it can occur that you want to reveal data in a quick and easy way. Visual content has the ability to educate and using it for your blog, business or presentation can help you stand out from the crowd.

But not only that, infographics also make complex data very easy to digest and they are fun to share as well. People love that. In this article Infographic: Why Your Brain Loves Infographics (And Your Readers Do Too), you can get to know why people love them so much.

In contrast to these plain infographics, the interactive counterparts are not yet overused and still rare and they’re even far more engaging as well. In fact, you could say that triggering user engagement is their main goal and feature. This is mainly due to the dynamic elements like questions or pop-ups that those interactive infographics can use for telling their stories.

Therefore, the options with interactive infographics are pretty much endless. Almost every interactive infographic has another purpose, another design, and another subject. Due to the many different options of dynamic elements, they all have another way of interactivity too. To give you some inspiration for your own storytelling journey, I’ve listed five interactive infographic examples.

To show you how far we can go with this type of visual storytelling, I can add more visualized and interactive content examples to this website. But for now I collected 5 of my favorites. Here we go!

5 ways of doing things differently

Interactive infographics can be used in a lot of ways.

1.) Limit information with clicks and rollovers

One annoying thing about some websites, is to me an overload of information. A great way to avoid that and at the same time get users to actively participate in the storytelling experience, is to have clicks or rollovers that offer more information.

Interactive infographics can be valuable tools in achieving that. Not only do the clicks and rollovers encourage the user’s sense of curiosity and exploration, it also allows them to skip over minor topics that are not of interest to them, without discouraging them from continuing on with the rest of the interactive infographic.

On the more complex end of examples is the SimpliSafe guide to home security. There’s a lot more than just clickable links in this journey through the different layers of home defence, but their inclusion makes for a richer learning experience.

infographic examples

2.) Connect the dots with

Another way to make complex data visuable and understandable, is by highlighting and filtering certain areas on a map.

3.) Make complex data more accessible with maps

This interactive map from the Guardian answers the question on how women’s rights are changed around the globe. It allows you to scan information by region, time period, or by right (voting, right to run, elected). More info is found by clicking on a country.

These types of interactive infographics make sense of data by showing us how all of those information (region, voting etc) relates with each other. These maps are not only great because they show us patterns, but you can also make sense of the information yourself by clicking, scrolling and filtering the content.

I found this map very meaningful because it promotes a message that needs to be told, and understood by everyone. Women have been fighting for their rights until very recently in many countries. And in some places, they still are. Therefore, this map raises awareness and because it’s so intuitive and interactive by hand, you can learn for yourself too.

International Women’s Day: Political Rights Around the World Mapped, by Lizzie MalcolmLustlab, From the Guardian.

Another interactive infographic that offers patterns, is this map called The Geography of Hate: Geotagged Hateful Tweets in the United States. LBS has a power to link the online-content to a certain physical location which creates a whole new dimension and context that allows to change the data and information into valuable knowledge.

Created by a professor and students at Humboldt State, this piece shows an interactive map of all tweets featuring hate speech in America. The data is from all geotagged tweets between June 2012 to April 2013. Even with this map the infographic is very engaging because you can click, scroll and filter. To me it’s such a fascinating map… It got me thinking what it actually says about the places where these comments are coming from.

interactive infographics 18

4.) Make complex data more accessible with trends

Will a Robot Take my Job? Although from 2015, BBC created an awesomely terrifying interactive infographic that shows the likelihood of robots making your job obsolete. Either type in your profession or choose from a comprehensive list to see the percentage. 

infographic examples

The BBC clearly knows what she’s doing by making this information easier for us to digest. By giving us percentages, trends and estimates, and allowing us to fill in what we want to know, the network succeeds in my opinion in making the information more accessible for us. If you like you can click on the picture to go to their website and fill in your job.

5.) Give personalized outcomes with calculations

This visualization called What’s Your Pay Gap? by the Wall Street Journal highlights the issue of pay discrepancy. The interactive lets you plug in your profession and calculate how much you make compared to the opposite gender. In this way, you give people the sense that the content is made for them.

People remember only 20% of what they read. When you ask them to see and do, they will remember 80% of it. By asking questions as the user navigates through interactive infographics like this one, visitors can see how their problems, beliefs, or results directly compare to the larger data set in real-time. They participate actively into the storytelling journey, which makes them more engaging.

Interestingly, it shows that women getting paid less. There are professions where men are making less than their female counterpart; dieticians for example.

I’ve written an e-book and some blogs about negotiating for salary as a woman and what kind of struggles we face in that process. Head over to this section if you’re interested to learn more.

infographics

Conclusion

In short, infographics can help us get our information more quickly because they are more engaging, more accessible, more persuasive, and easier to recall. With interactive infographics, you combine the power of an already compelling content type (infographics) with interactive elements. This type of infographic is even more engaging than their static counterparts and the forms in which they appear are pretty much endless.

Therefore, using interactive infographics in your visual storytelling can be powerful too because they create a visual dialogue that engages and educates your audience. Those graphics not only enable us to minimize information, but also give us insights into more complex patterns and trends. And give personalized information.

If you’re thinking about experimenting with interactive infographics or looking for some serious inspiration for your next project, I’ve rounded up 50 of my favorites, covering everything from the cosmic web to cocktails. Sign up to get that piece!

But although the information or data can be super simple or incredibly complex, the graphic itself does not have to be difficult. Scrolling can also be used in really simple ways, with simple narratives. Take a look at this iPod capacity visualisation for example. The content is incredibly basic, but the scrolling factor does an excellent job of communicating the point. Although it not really is an info graphic, it is a good and interactive way of storytelling.

I’ve written more blog posts about visual content creation. Head over to these articles if you like to learn more:

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