Here’s a beautiful infographic that shows infographic use.
It’s not particularly accurate, but it isn’t meant to be. Like most infographics that you’ll see, it is there to tell a story and to bend the facts a little bit to present some information in a particular way.
The representation of data has a huge impact on the way in which we can understand and engage with it. Visualisation of data has been transformed into an art form in recent years, and has become part of the structure of the web.
Because of the inherent simplicity (and often the beauty) of their presentation, infographics have become a staple of the web and a popular link bait tactic. Unfortunately, as more and more people use them they’re starting to lose their appeal because the data that they present is becoming more and more mundane.
That’s not to say I think that infographics are dead. In fact, I think as a creative medium they have huge value. being able to present data or process in a straightforward way has huge benefits, and properly organised information is a huge advantage when learning.
They are a perfect means to present a flow of information, or advice – users like them because they help to make things understandable.
When an infographic is used for the right reason – to inform or simplify a process or pile of data, it is good for users. On the other hand, when it is presented simply as an alternative to any genuine value add content then it has no value. Well thought out infographics that can be treated as a useful resource will naturally attract links, and because they are portable and usable, they will attract more links than flat content. However, just because you have put a pretty graph and some “innovatively” presented text on a gradient back ground, it does not mean that your website will suddenly start to rank well.