I know you probably will not read this post fully and in depth. Good! Please really do not because it’s not worth your time to go that far with it. Why do I say this? Pictures! As soon as I attach a picture to this post your eyes will beeline directly to it. Infographics are a beautiful thing when done right, which is difficult by the way. Just think back when you were a child in grade school. What did you do when the teacher was yammering on about ancient civilizations? That’s right, you probably thumbed through the book sitting in front of you and looked at all the funky pictures. Most likely those weird pictures were infographics. How neat is that?!
Infographics have a interesting and very simple science behind them. Mark Smiciklas explains in his blog the findings of Robert Lane and Dr. Stephen Kosslyn.
“Each letter in a word is essentially a symbol. To read text, the brain needs to act as a decoder first, matching those letters with shapes stored in memory. From there the brain must figure out how all the letters fit together to form words, how words form sentences, and how sentences form paragraphs. Although all this comprehension takes place in only a split second, relatively speaking, when compared to how the brain deals with images, the process requires considerably more mental effort.”
Smiciklas continued on saying that our brains are wired to choose infographics over text and this in turn makes acquiring fast facts easier. Companies also know this and take advantage of it. Would you be more likely to buy something from a picture ad or text ad? You’re exactly right, you will be more likely to buy because of a picture ad. “We have a natural tendency to trust images more than text,” states Randy Olson in Infographics Lie. Advertising agencies are very good at their jobs and can make infographics that don’t quite tell the truth. Olson suggests to check the coloring, source data and presentation to not get duped into thinking the wrong thing. Why would someone want to present data in a tricky way? What benefit would they gain from it? Are infographics really that powerful? What if I told you that you could get most of the information I presented in the infographic below? Would you have read all of this text if I didn’t have a picture?
Infographic: Why Infographics Work – Travel Media