How To Use Infographics Effectively For Your Digital Newspaper

Infographics have increasingly become one of the leading formats for presenting information in digital newspapers. We see them being used to show the weather, survey and poll results, government statistical data and all other complex information. It’s now grown as an indispensable element in delivering news.

Most journalistic information are heavy on data. And information graphics help in avoiding these data to interrupt readers’ momentum while being immersed in a news story. They help journalists sift through the most important data, focus on the meat of the story and present it in a way much easier to digest than just pure text. They are effective, as well, in supporting ideas and conclusions, and add context to news stories.

If you’re planning on making infographics a part of your digital newspaper strategy, below are some pointers from Milton Cappelletti based on his experience from using Infogram for Portuguese digital newspaper, Observador.

Follow these tips on how to use infographics effectively and you’ll be well on your way to creating a visual masterpiece that can make your news stories more immersive.

Watch out for colors. sometimes they say more than the numbers. At Observador, we tend to use a gradient of the same color in the graphics because it works great for our white background. We also pay attention to some contextual meanings of the colors, like green (positive, good) and red (negative, bad) or the colors of the Portuguese parties. And dark grey is always better than black!

The data source is as important as the graphics itself. It gives credibility to the data and shows transparency to the audience.

Titles are the first step to call the attention of the reader. They must be short and translate the general meaning of the graphic in one sentence. Using action verbs may help.

Pie charts and bar charts are the easiest to understand. However, depending to the story, there are other options that can be more attractive and give the same results.

Experimentation is important but you need a second or a third opinion to make sure the infographic works. Don’t be afraid to ask other people what they think about your charts and mostly if the information is clear.

Grouping the data in an efficient way will allow users to use the radio buttons properly, giving them the feeling of being in control of the visualization. This user engagement is the main difference between a static and an interactive chart.

Because interactivity can play an important role, we have tell the users what they can do with the graphics: “Click on the option above to see…”, “Hover your mouse over the map to see..” They don’t know an infographic is interactive if we don’t say so.

At this point, we all know that it’s impossible to think of digital journalism without thinking about mobile communication. We have to take into consideration mobile devices when we make an infographic and adjust colors, title sizes or hover effects.

There’s feeling in newsrooms that infographics have a life of their own. Sometimes journalists don’t even know how they are made or what data is required to build a chart. This is why it’s important to present some examples of work done.

Read full article on Info.gram.

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