Find the Purpose of Your Infographic

By Justin Beegel, MBA, The Infographic World Team

The purpose of your infographic is perhaps the most fundamental aspect to consider. After all, that purpose tempers virtually every decision made about the overall approach of your graphic. Always bear in mind the interaction of two factors: content and audience. In other words, what’s your purpose in sharing this content with this audience?

Is the infographic meant for general online consumption? Is it a print piece being distributed to the news media? Is it going to be part of a corporate presentation? The answers to these questions will factor into every element of your graphic.

A good way to ground yourself before you begin designing is to create a basic outline after your research is complete. Doing so allows you to get an overview of your information and forces you to consider how you want to move from one point to the next.

Here’s an example. Say you’re developing an infographic for the Internet aimed at informing the general public about breast cancer. Your outline could look like this:

TOPIC: Breast cancer

FORMAT: Online, vertically oriented infographic

AUDIENCE: Health bloggers, women’s health sites, health reporters

CONTENT FLOW:

  1. History of breast cancer awareness, from ancient times to modern era

    Arrange in horizontal timeline starting with older dates.

  2. Health-related statistics

    How many women will be diagnosed this year? How many will die? How many women are at risk? Which states and/or countries have the highest diagnosis and death rates? Look at trends over time. Are more women being diagnosed, fewer, or the same? What racial/ethnic/other demographic differences can be seen in the rates?

  3. Diagnosis and treatment

    How is breast cancer discovered and treated? What are the stages and the survival rates? How can women detect breast cancer on their own? What new advances have been made in recent research?

  4. Research and fundraising success

    To end on a positive note, how much money has been raised for research over the years? Perhaps there are state-by-state figures to be revealed here.

Now change the purpose of your graphic. Say you’re creating the piece for a nonprofit entity trying to raise funds for research. You may switch the order of the preceding points to 2-4-3-1, or you may drop points 1 and 3 entirely. You may also start with the story of a real woman who survived breast cancer.