What’s the Right Size for an Infographic?

By Justin Beegel, MBA, The Infographic World Team

If you’re creating an infographic for a print or web client, the client will probably specify the size. If you’re publishing it yourself, you have the power to decide. Still, following some of our guidelines will help optimize the way your graphic looks and the likelihood that it will be shared on other websites.

The more complex your infographic, the larger it’s likely to be from a megabyte or kilobyte standpoint. Features such as animation and high-resolution photos make for awesome graphics but can quickly drive up the size of the files.

At a certain point, that creates diminishing returns: You’ll drive viewers away if your graphic is so big that it doesn’t load easily. You might have a stunning, entertaining, and informative graphic, but if all the bells and whistles have driven it up to 7MB, it will load so slowly you’ll think you’re back in the dial-up modem days. You know what happens when something loads slowly on a page? The reader leaves. Simple as that.

In a 2009 survey, Forrester Consulting discovered that 47 percent of the population expects web pages to load in two seconds or less. An earlier Google report showed that when load times increased from 0.4 seconds to 0.9 seconds, traffic and ad revenues dropped by 20 percent. Well, that was almost a decade ago, and attention spans have only shrunk since then.

These days, you have merely seconds to grab someone’s attention and to keep them on your website. Too many other things compete for your reader’s attention online.

Keep your graphic as close to 1MB as possible. You can get away with it being a bit larger than that, but try not to go too much larger than that.

Another option is investing in a content delivery network (CDN) to take the bandwidth burden off of your own servers. Many companies offer this service. Try speaking with your IT group or doing a Google search for CDN, speak with a few companies, and explain what you’re trying to accomplish. This can be a smart option if you are routinely working with large files.