10 ways to use infographics


Emilie Futterman

October 16, 2013

This article originally appeared on The Next Web

infographic 520x245 10 ways to use infographics

Big data is one of the largest idea trends of 2013, and the biggest question surrounding it has been figuring out the best way to interpret it all.

Whether you are a corporation trying to communicate earnings and innovations to investors, a designer looking for a job that needs a unique resume, an organization that needs to effectively communicate the issues they care about, or an educator teaching a challenging topic in a short amount of time, the problem remains the same:  how do you take the wealth of information at your disposal and effectively simplify and present it in an engaging and informative way? One answer is infographics.

Infographics are graphic visual representations of data that are intended to present complex information quickly and clearly. The best way to explain an infographic is with another infographic (source: Customer Magnetism):

what is an infographic excerpt1 730x643 10 ways to use infographics

Click above to see full infographic (source)

Infographics simplify information in a visually engaging way in order to attract and inform a large audience. The best infographic designers use basic principles of design to support the information presented and to make it more easily accessible to a larger audience or to target one particular audience over another.

No matter the purpose, as more and more content is being funneled through the Internet every day, infographics communicate an idea simply and quickly and is a huge asset for any brand, business, educator, designer, or blogger.

Here are ten different ways that infographics can be used.

A recruiting tool

Infographics have long been used by designers on resumes as a way of visually simplifying their careers and highlighting specific skill sets in utilizing their own design style. At some point, recruiters realized they could use infographics to do the same thing but in reverse.

The infographic below was designed to recruit for a project management position and summarizes the skill set of an ideal candidate while also effectively communicating facts about the company itself.

recruiting tool 730x1019 10 ways to use infographics

Presenting survey data

Infographics are highly useful for presenting results gathered from survey data. Statistics and numbers can overwhelm a lot of audiences, and therefore lose much of their significance. When organized in an infographic it becomes much easier to quickly draw meaning from data, as is evident in the example below.

It’s clear that design is “Very Important” to businesses (data that supports the need for infographics!) and that blue is the color most associated with success. Had this information been presented in a spreadsheet they would have most likely been much less impactful and not as easily understood upon first glance.

99designs Business Design Survey Infographic excerpt1 730x867 10 ways to use infographics

Click above to see full infographic (source)

Simplifying a complicated concept

The core purpose of an infographic is to simplify a complex idea which makes them great educational tools, especially when presenting an overview of a topic instead of an in-depth analysis. One topic that it suits particularly well is the Bitcoin – a virtual currency that is simple to understand with a basic background knowledge of economics, but is still difficult to comprehend given its virtual nature.

Motion graphics are especially suited for Bitcoin because it is not only constantly changing and fluctuating in value, but also because there are so many different ideas, elements, and factors that go into the concept. Though a simple .jpg designer Duncan Elms effectively communicated its variability and movement in an engaging way. The video is brief but the viewer comes away with a greater understanding of a very complex concept.

Explaining how something works

In addition to simplifying complex ideas, infographics are often used to reveal the mechanics behind how intricate objects work.

Skilled designers can create infographics that pull apart complex products like cameras, iPhones, and clocks, and graphically explain their core features. The simplicity of the designs makes it easier to explain the function of each piece. In the example below, designer Jing Zhang went so far as to add an element of fantasy to each product, feeding into the reader’s imagination while accurately revealing how they work.

iphone 10 ways to use infographics

by Jing Zhang


When drawing comparisons, infographics help organize similarities and differences by visually creating parallels that complement the information being presented. Comparisons can be difficult to express with words, sometimes to the point of being more confusing than revealing to the audience.

By presenting the same information in a neatly organized infographic, comparisons become clearer. Earlier this year, a series of infographics compared how the price of being a superheroes has changed from the year they were created to 2013.The infographics were effective because they made use of the changes in each superhero’s costume as a visual starting point.

batman then and now excerpt 10 ways to use infographics

Click above to see full infographic (source)

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