Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fewer words, more pictures? An infographic

Greetings, I.N.K. readers! Please help me with a little experiment…do you prefer version 1 or 2?
Version 1
We often use words, words, words, (and only words) to express what’s on our mind (or should that be minds?) Words are fab BUT words plus pictures combined are a great way to share ideas!

Doodle your ideas
Use maps + timelines
Write on a photo
Make a diagram
Create a comic
Add clip art

Blah Blah Blah: What to Do When Words Don’t Work by Dan Roam
100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People by Susan Weinschenk, Ph.D.

I just finished the above two books which is why I’m thinking about this topic (a recurring interest). Also, I’ve really enjoyed looking at Karen Romano Young’s Humanimal Doodles. Anyway, here is the other contender (click to enlarge):

Version 2
Brain clip art is from Clipart ETC, courtesy of FCIT at the University of South Florida.
More on infographics from Kathy Schrock’s site.
Written and drawn in Adobe Illustrator
So…? If you’re anything like me, Version 2 is much more fun but more importantly is more memorable. Not everyone will agree (which is fine, too). One of the insights of the Blah Blah/100 Things books is that humans evolved over millions of years to take in information visually to a large degree, and we limit ourselves unnecessarily if we communicate with words alone. If we bury people in too many words, we may confuse and/or bore them. Many other research-based conclusions about how people perceive, learn, and recall information are mentioned in these books.
I’ve been wanting to make an infographic for a long time; please feel free to repost it, print it out, or otherwise share it (without changing it please.) Enjoy!

@Loreen Leedy


Quilted Librarian said...

Version 2. No question!

Unknown said...

Thanks for commenting, Dana. These two books really gotten me thinking about incorporating images as much as possible when communicating. I'm also starting to make more short videos…might as well throw that in, too!