Lianna Doley
 · Community @ Ceros

Interactive Infographic Best Practices

Creating an interactive infographic isn’t that hard, but creating a great infographic IS. The art of taking data and telling an interesting story requires finesse, both from a content and a design perspective. Throwing interactive functionality into the equation complicates matters even further.

This article walks through the 4 key steps to follow when creating interactive infographics in Studio.

1. Start with Some Solid Data

The natural place to start when developing an interactive infographic is with the data or research you want to share.

There are a few key types of information you can draw on for an infographic:

  • Proprietary data from surveys, product usage, customer profiles, internal activity, or something else.

  • Third-party data from other companies’ surveys, reports, or presentations.

  • Shared partner data from a company you have an established agreement with.

  • Industry data from research firms or industry organizations.

An important note: Any data or information you use should be cited and linked to your final infographic. If you’re using data from a partner or internal source, make sure to get the proper permissions before making any stats public.

2. Identify What Story You Want to Tell with the Stats

So you’ve pulled together a great collection of stats and soundbites. Now it’s time to figure out what story you want to tell them. Will it be a success story? A cautionary tale? A romance? An educational piece? Until you decide on a narrative wrapper for your data, all you’ve got are numbers and facts. And numbers and facts don’t make for very compelling reading.

Once you have a concept for your infographic, it’s time to review your data and organize it into a story arc. Each stat should be presented in a logical flow with supporting context that helps connect each point. Often, it helps to break up your infographic into sections of related ideas. This will help your designer come up with the best framework for your content, and help readers scan for the bits they’re interested in.

3. Choose a Visual Theme

The picture you’ve decided to paint with your data needs an equally powerful visual theme to bring it home. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a visual theme:

  • Branding: Does this piece need to reflect the brand style of your business? If you’re using data from a partner, does it need to pull in their branding as well?

  • Audience: Your visual style should reflect the personality of your intended audience. For example, an infographic on corporate energy consumption would have a very different look and feel than an infographic on energy consumption for residential consumers.

  • Distribution: Where are you planning to post this infographic? If you’re only putting it on your website or blog, it may make sense to incorporate graphic elements from those locations. If it’s going multiple places, you may want a more neutral visual style.

4. Add Depth to Your Content

Static infographics are by nature one-dimensional. You guide your readers through a quick journey from top to bottom, and you’re done. With an interactive infographic, however, you can make your content multidimensional. This allows you to tell a much richer, more nuanced story using your source data and facts.

Some of the types of content we’ve used to add depth to our interactive infographics include:

  • Real-World Examples: To drive home your stats, it helps to include real-world examples of the types of customers, results, or situations you're talking about.

  • Analogies: With abstract or complex stats, it can often help to use an analogy to help the viewer conceptualize what the data actually means. Pick something your audience can relate to effortlessly.

  • Quotes and Commentary: Data can be powerful on its own, but it's even more powerful when an industry expert can provide their perspective on it as well. Whether you use a quote from the researcher who ran a study, an audio snippet from one of your executive team members with their perspective on a trend, or a video clip of a thought leader talking about a topic related to your stats, this additional content can lend credibility to your message and help bring it to life.