I love looking at infographics. I think the use of images, color to display information is art. It’s often aesthetically pleasing to me and my first reactions upon encountering one is, “Cool!” Like this one, aside from good information, I like how it looks.
I love reading infographics. I love studying them in magazines, and I love being puzzled over them (at times) to figure out the message it’s trying to convey. It also feels great when you figure out what it’s trying to convey, how it’s doing it, and you get to the information. This one, most memorable at the moment, from Wired Magazine let me spend a good amount of time, figuring the information out while waiting for my flight to take off over the summer.
I never thought I would make an infographic. Yes, I have made regular graphs to show information, but to take visually representing data in a whole new artistic way? Nope, never even considered it. But then, I was assigned, via COETAIL, to read 70 Tools and 4 Reasons To Make Your Own Infographics by Jeff Dunn and I decided I needed to stop being only a consumer, but also a creator.
- Brainstorm: What am I making an infographic about?
- Tool: Which infographic creator do I want to use? (I used Piktochart)
- Content: What information is necessary?
- Revise: What other information do I need? or can I add?
- Edit: How do I want it to look? (A Periodic Table of Visualization)
As I went through this process, it became very similar to the Writing Process that I teach in my classroom: Collect, Draft, Revise, Edit, Publish. Though my process was truncated to a certain degree, it made me start wondering can creating infographics become part of the Writer’s Workshop? The purposes are similar in that they are both creating something to convey thoughts and ideas.
Then, I saw the fatal flaw in my infographic. It has no real purpose. I’m representing information visually, but I have no message or underlying thoughts behind it. (I guess that’s okay because I’m just learning to use it).
So, in the process, I should have a “Why” section. Before moving into the “Tools” step, I should ask:
- Why: Why am I choosing to share this information visually?
As Sharlyn Lauby wrote in 9 Dynamic Digital Resumes That Stand Out From the Crowd, “There has to be some thought behind the message you want to send.” It’s imporant to not create infographics for the sake of making them.