We are increasingly moving towards a more visual-based world. This is because of the continuing progress of technology that makes it easier and easier than ever before to show things visually. Also, because of the Internet people tend to have less time to spend reading long treatises. They want to get their information right away, in as condensed a form as possible. As a result, infographics have in turn shaped much of the way we look at information. There has been much speculation as to how they are changing culture, and why they are so effective.
As a result of infographics, many people are now more impatient when it comes to reading information. They want you to get to the point as quickly as possible, to have a “bottom line” that’s easy to read and that makes it so you don’t have to spend too much time pouring through extra material. And when any particular essay or even an infographic doesn’t do this fast and straight forward enough, people often feeling frustrated or annoyed.
Some studies show that people are 30 times more likely to read an infographic than the text in an article. People looked for “infographic” on search engines around 300,000 times per month on average in the study. So clearly people are beginning to prefer infographics as a way to take in information over more traditional text approaches. This means that we’re probably going to only see more infographics over the years instead of less.
Another reason why infographics are so important is that they can be about literally anything. Many sites are just bubbling over with infographics about random things like sharks, Harry Potter, and so on. They can also be completely anywhere in terms of the style used. When people hear the term “infographic” they tend to immediately think that it refers to something serious, like global warming or bat populations. But there are just as many humorous infographics out there. Many of them are sarcastic or ironic like “percentage of people who hate X” and it shows a completely solid pie chart meaning 100 percent.
Another way the infographic world influences the Internet and surrounding culture and vica versa, is through shareability. The fact that you can show fun information in such an easy, attention grabbing way means that people are getting used to sharing things on the Internet frequently. Having just a statistic about something will never capture people’s imaginations the way that a striking visualization will, and as a result, people often want to share that experience with others. This is exactly the kind of culture that leads to the “going viral” phenomenon. If something is popular enough, the tendency to share with other people will make it so that the picture ends up all over the place in no time flat.
Infographics reflect the increasingly interconnected nature of the world at large, and they will likely continue to do so for some time into the future.
This is a guest post by Marianne Ross, a freelance tech writer. You can read her articles on various blogs. Nowadays she’s writing on behalf Inphographic World.