Infographics are Useful –But They Must Evolve

Infographics. I love them.

Nothing tells a story better than using colorful, easy-to-read illustrations that couple important data points that justify the meaning. In fact, over a year ago, I said that “Infographics are the new white papers. Our media consumption diet has shifted from steaks to shish kabob“.

Infographics are becoming the norm –the medium is at risk to get saturated
Yet lately, I’ve started to see this once early adopter medium get saturated. We’re starting to see infographics for every topic, and I’m getting infographics sent to me as part of press releases, or you can create infographics out of your resume on demand. Heck, there’s even an infographic for infographics on HuffPo and a different one on my friend Scott’s site Laughing Squid. In fact, there are over 570,000 counts of infographic images on Google, and even one Flickr pool has over 5000 pictures.

How else could they evolve?
Well let’s think. As more data emerges, certainly we must continue to make data presentable and consumable, we a mixture of shish kabob (short form content) –and steaks (long form). Well, they could be interactive, so as you click on them, additional information appears and you can dig in to the nested data, see how Newsweek is doing this for data on World’s best countries, or how Forbes is tracking migrations across the United States or how National Geographic layers on infographics on how we’re quickly approaching 7 billion inhabitants on Earth.

I like what Joe Chernov at Eloqua did, I think he’s doing some of the most interesting stuff in this space when it comes to marketing in new mediums, he created a Probook that has elements of stories, data, graphics, in a deeper format. As one of our clients (disclosure), I worked on this project with Joe and Jess3, who popularized this medium, so much so, that many other firms are emulating Jess3. I look forward to seeing how they will continue to push the medium forward.

If you see some interesting evolutions of infographics (3D, interactive, digital books, video) please leave a comment and shout out these new projects, let’s give them some visibility.

Infographics are Useful –But They Must Evolve.