Take the visual appeal and easily digestible nature of a beautiful infographic, raise it to the next level, and you get: the interactive infographic. We already know why infographics are among the most popular and shareable forms of content. The interactive infographic is just as eye-catching, and makes data even more engaging by allowing users to click and scroll through the presented information.
Think of it as the equivalent of watching a new movie trailer versus playing a new mobile game. Which will hold your attention longer? While they’re both full of exciting visuals, the latter requires you to interact with it; you play an active role in your experience as you tap and scroll on your screen. In the same way, you play an equally active role in viewing and reading an interactive infographic.
Because of their interactive nature, these graphic design pieces are more complicated to produce than a traditional static infographic. There are a lot of decisions to make about not only the aesthetics and layout, but also the functionality and features when a user clicks or scrolls within the piece.
Today we’re going to cover how to decide which type of interactive infographic to design for your brand’s goals and message. Let’s dive in!
Determining Your Goal & Interactivity
All branded content is produced with a specific reason or goal in mind, and you can’t start without a roadmap. Identify what you want to accomplish with your interactive infographic. More to the point, what do you want your readers to gain or learn? Interactive infographic goals may include:
- Sharing an understanding of statistical information
- Sharing an understanding of data in real-time
- Telling a story
- Tracking progress toward a goal
Next, you’ll need to decide what kind of interactivity best accomplishes your goal. These can include:
- Clicking to reveal hidden information
- Hovering over certain aspects to show more information
- Scrolling to transition between sections or trigger animations
- Pressing a button to start a detailed animation
- Zooming in and out to show concepts at different levels
A clearly defined goal is important, because this should lead you to the most appropriate kinds of interactivity to get your message across. If you wish to show users location-based differences in data, you may design your piece so that users can hover over different states or cities to view data points. If you aim to show consumers how to use your new product, you may utilize an animation and incorporate zooming functionality that reveals more detailed information about each feature of your product. Make sure the kinds of interactivity you choose aren’t arbitrary — they should serve to help your audience understand your message.
Types of Interactive Infographics
You don’t have to start with a blank page. Brands and designers have unleashed an ocean of creativity when designing interactive infographics, so a quick internet search will reveal plenty of examples to go around.
Below, we’ve highlighted some of the most common layouts and themes for interactive infographics, to give you some ideas.
Data Summaries and Insights
Interactive infographics are great for presenting information at a high-level that users can then dig into for more details. For example, if you want to share insights in your website’s user base, you could start with the total number of users. From there, you could slice data by user location, content type visited, and more. One user from the creative community site Dribbble did just that, creating an interactive infographic to show what members use the site for and which creative fields they come from.
You can impress users with real-time data by designing a map or graph that’s integrated with your data sources. These can help users visualize an approaching goal (e.g. funding or donations) or keep them updated on news or events. One excellent example is the interactive infographic created by the Guardian and FlightStats, which shows all commercial planes flying around the globe in real time.
Timelines and Patterns
From studying historical trends to understanding today’s challenges, interactive infographics can break down a large concept into several more manageable parts. Showing how small fractions influence a larger outcome not only reinforces learning, but can surprise users with facts and tidbits. Simply Business developed an interactive infographic that shows how today’s tech giants (e.g. Amazon, Apple, Google) acquired smaller businesses on the paths to becoming the companies they are today.
If you’re looking to present a story to your audience, pagination is a great way to evoke the feeling of flipping through a book. This also allows you to break up a mass of information into pages, making it more digestible and helping the reader to follow it from beginning to end. Your Daily Dose of Water shows water consumption along an average daily routine, with each page highlighting a time of day (e.g. breakfast, afternoon). This serves to carry the user along the story of a day’s worth of water usage, while delivering a collection of data points and facts in more easily digestible segments.
Triggering animations via scrolling is a simple way to add some interactivity into your infographic. NSF International created this hand washing infographic, with animations that begin and continue as the viewer scrolls down the page. The tallying stats, growing bacterial samples, and running faucet all contribute to making the information presented in the infographic more eye-catching and engaging. The fact that the user must scroll to activate these animations encourages viewers to engage with the entire piece all the way to the bottom.
Combining informative content with dynamic visualization, interactive infographics are a powerful content model for your brand to showcase its value and — most importantly — engage directly with audiences, by giving them an active role in your content. Need help developing ideas and strategies for your brand’s interactive infographics, or other graphic pieces of content? We specialize in planning, writing, and producing engaging content for infographics, and sharing your masterpieces across your target audiences.
Be sure to contact us for a free consultation.