How to Outline Your Infographic Wireframe

By Justin Beegel, MBA, The Infographic World Team

There is no single best strategy for designing a wireframe for your infographic. Depending on the size and simplicity of the graphic, a rough sketch on paper or a whiteboard will do just fine. If your project is more complex (or you love working at your computer) you could use Microsoft Word or go right to Photoshop or Illustrator.

Although more expensive and more high-tech than most projects would require, Microsoft Visio (a sophisticated diagramming software program) is useful for mapping out more complex projects.

And how much time should you allot? Well, that’s really tough to quantify. It could really be a few minutes’ work on the back of an envelope, or it could take a couple of days. It depends on complexity, client relationship, deadline pressure, and more.

Regardless of the medium used to create your wireframe, it should consist of the following elements (see the following figure):

  • Spots for title and introduction

  • Rough renderings of charts, graphs, and other data visualization

  • Approximations of illustrations in use (whether you sketch something out or use a service like Shutterstock to find placeholder images)

  • Spots for section headings (if you’re using them)

  • Rough placement of data, particularly if the data will relate or connect to an element within the background of the visual itself

  • Fonts and color palettes (optional)

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Most infographics will follow, more or less, the same structure as a news article: Each infographic needs a title, a beginning (the introduction to the infographic), a middle (the body), and an end (generally, a call to action). Crafting your wireframe at the start of your project can help you guarantee that your infographic has those basic elements.