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Everyone should learn how to design infographics that will impress your boss, especially if you’re eyeing a newly opened position or have been thinking about asking for a raise.
It’s often the job of many professionals to convey information or data to other teammates and more senior employees in a way that makes it easy for everyone to understand.
Infographics are the perfect tool to communicate a lot of information quickly and effectively, but creating an infographic from scratch can sometimes be a little intimidating to someone who has never created one.
It may also be the case that you’ve made an infographic before but it just didn’t come out the way you envisioned.
Not to worry, there are a few easy-to-follow guidelines for creating an infographic that will impress anyone – especially your boss.
Before you do anything, it’s important to consider your audience. A clearly defined audience will help you clarify your message and make your resulting infographic more impressive.
Ask yourself a few questions.
There are many different mediums where an infographic is appropriate.
While marketers often use them in their digital marketing strategies, companies can also use infographics internally as a means of condensing information, like a quick look at website traffic.
You might share your infographic in an email, as part of a presentation, in a printed memo or in another form of internal communication.
How much time and attention your audience can spend understanding your infographic is highly dependent on where you share the content.
Many settings, such as meetings, should be reserved for highly consumable, bite-sized pieces of data while you fill in the rest with your presentation dialogue. You don't want to simply read off a screen.
Other channels, like an email, provide a better setting for your audience to closely examine detailed visuals and data representations.
Despite the title of this blog, some infographics that you make for your boss will still be seen by others. Many companies, and even specific teams, have their own internal lingo that others may not be familiar with.
As many of us know, this also goes for some industries where buzzwords and common phrases litter emails and conference topics.
Will this slide deck or memo be distributed outside of your company? If so, will everyone clearly understand your infographic?
Take the below infographic for example. A case study has more industry jargon by nature, so it’s important to decide if it’s for internal use only.
Maybe more importantly, is any of the data that you’ll be sharing in your infographic sensitive or proprietary to your company?
If so, you likely only want to share this in a presentation or a format where you can control who sees it, who shares it and who they share it with.
If you’re going to design an infographic that will impress your boss, they may decide to use your infographic for other things.
If at all possible, make your infographic evergreen. What we mean by this is craft your infographic in a way that will allow the data to retain its relevance for months or even years.
When infographics are made evergreen, they’re circulated internally for a long time. This means that your work will stay in front of your boss and top-of-mind, which gives the illusion of non-stop impressive work.
There are several ways to present data in an infographic. If your goal is to design an infographic that will impress your boss, your infographic will have to be two things – informative and aesthetically appealing.
When designing an infographic that will communicate data while still maintaining aesthetic appeal, there’s usually a balance to meet.
This is why you need to make sure that all of the data that is important to your specific project will be included in the infographic.
I like to keep all of the data points or information in a Google Doc or Google Sheet. Something that’s easy for me to reference.
This way, I can see everything that will be included in the design beforehand, and easily trim off any unnecessary fat.
Include as much data as possible without taking away from the overall appearance. Much of infographic design is coming up with creative ways to communicate your data efficiently.
Being efficient in your design is where you get to test your creativity, but don’t be afraid to look up data visualization examples or use an infographics template.
You’re presenting information in an infographic because your boss has designated you as the expert on a certain topic.
We’ll let your boss continue to think that, but you should still dig for information that is new to you. Learning more is always a good idea.
If this infographic will be part of a presentation, the way you deliver your presentation will also affect the way the infographic itself is received.
Find something that you didn’t know before about your topic, and highlight it as something that you learned through your research.
It can probably be argued that no one is actually an expert on anything. True experts are the ones who know enough about a topic to find the answers to questions, and they should have a lot of them.
Showing your boss that you know where to look for answers may be more impressive than someone who can memorize numbers.
This should go without saying, but always be sure to give yourself adequate time to get the job done without pulling your hair out.
When I’m creating an infographic, especially when it’s one that has the potential to be evergreen, I take my time to make sure the details are right.
Although some aspects of infographic design can be tedious, making corrections later on will be burdensome. Ship it right the first time.
If you’re creating an infographic using graphic design software like Adobe Illustrator or Adobe InDesign, you need to give yourself more than enough time to get the project done well. Don't rush.
This can look like a timeline of 2-3 days for information gathering, 1 day for drafting/wireframing, 3 days to create individual graphics, and 2 days to add copy to the infographic and finalize the design.
However, if you decide to use a graphic design tool like Visme, your production time can be dramatically reduced.
Since Visme has plenty of templates and premade graphics ready for you to drag and drop into your infographic, it’s possible to turn around a finalized infographic design within hours.
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Whichever platform you choose to use, be mindful of the amount of time you need so that your infographic is clear, aesthetically appealing and doesn’t look rushed. Remember, you want to impress your boss!
As I stated previously, premade graphics can save you a lot of time, but that’s not the only reason you should use them.
Premade graphics are vector images, design elements, or icons, that were made by either a third party company or another designer. You can find them on the internet or on an infographic design platform like Visme.
When it comes to choosing premade graphics from a third party, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
First, look for quality images. Remember that the larger the image you choose is, the better. It’s easy to retain the quality of an image that is scaled down, but not so much when scaling up.
Transparent PDFs are going to be easier to incorporate into your design. You can use another program, such as Adobe Photoshop, if you need to remove any background, but this can be rather tedious.
You want to make sure that there’s a common design theme across all of the third party graphics you use. In other words, if your graphics were cartoons, they should all look like they’re from the same cartoon universe.
Lastly, many third party graphics sources charge for each one.
Depending on your project and how hard your boss is to impress, this may be worth it. But my advice would be not to overpay for some of these.
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Many infographic design platforms offer an arsenal of expertly designed graphics to drop into your infographic. Our infographic design platform is no different. Check out some of the graphics that Visme has to offer.
In western cultures, most of us are hardwired to examine information from left to right, and from top to bottom. This doesn’t always have to be the case when designing your infographic, but keep it in mind.
Some infographics have a chutes & ladders information sequence, where your eyes are intentionally being led all over the infographic, while following no predictable pattern. Others have an obvious flow.
However you decide to display your information, make sure that the audience intuitively knows where they should look next.
This can be achieved by following a consistent directional pattern in your design, or using techniques such as visual cues to prompt the reader.
If your infographic doesn’t flow intuitively, or if you don't create an obvious flow, you run the risk of confusing your audience.
This is especially true if you won’t be present when your audience sees the infographic, but keep this in mind even during a presentation.
When in doubt, you can always use one of our expertly designed infographic templates that have their flow incorporated into the design.
When you’re designing an infographic that is meant to impress your boss, you want to be as informative as possible.
After all, the entire point of creating infographics in general is to help visually communicate information on a topic – in case you were wondering where the “info” in “infographic” comes from.
In order for your information to be conveyed completely, and without holes, it’s important that the data presented in your infographic is clear.
Before your boss even lays eyes on your infographic, take the below steps to ensure they won’t be left confused:
While some graphics serve the purpose of making your infographic look nice, it’s a better use of space to use graphics that serve a purpose.
Create or source graphics that help the audience to understand your data.
Visual data representation is a creative skill that many infographic designers have mastered. Don’t be afraid to peek at some of their work, and borrow some ideas on how to present data graphically.
Although you should use graphics to tell the story of your data, it’s easy to get carried away with the complexity of your visuals.
You want to find the balance between making an infographic that is nice to look at and one that screams I learned something. Simplicity is key here.
By trying to create visuals that communicate your data efficiently, you’ll increase the likelihood that your audience will fully comprehend that information you’re trying to deliver.
Take a look at the example below. It doesn’t require a ton of elements to make its point. It’s concise, minimalistic and communicates the data.
By this, I mean try to keep all of your data within a specific timeline.
Therefore, if your data is historical data, try to keep it all historical. If your data is current, try to maintain keeping your data within that same range.
This is important as managers often try to capture information as quickly as possible. The last thing you want to do is to unintentionally give your boss historical data that may be confused as current information.
When designing infographics to impress your boss, create them in a way that will prompt action. If a decision is to be made using your data, you want there to be zero confusion on the part of the decision maker.
It’s always a good idea to have a coworker look over your infographic before it’s seen by your intended audience. This will get a fresh set of eyes on the design and the data that you’re presenting.
If possible, I like to ask three separate coworkers.
The first coworker is asked to look only at the design.
Does the overall design look presentable? Is all of the font readable? Are there any grammatical errors in the copy? Do the graphics that I’ve chosen help to tell the story of the information I’m presenting?
The second coworker is asked to look only at the information.
It helps to choose someone who works closely with you and is also familiar with the topic. Ask if all of the data seems correct, and if the graphics you chose are complementary to the data being presented.
The final coworker should be someone who knows little to nothing about the topic you’re presenting. Ask them if the information makes sense.
Do they feel like they know a little bit more about the topic just by looking at the infographic for a while? Is there any part of the infographic that is unclear or can be expanded on?
A few sections ago, I challenged you to learn something while doing your research for the information that you’ll be putting in the infographic. Let’s take that same principle, but now flip it.
To make this infographic truly impressive, challenge yourself to teach something that was otherwise unknown to your boss.
All infographics should seek to inform, but if you make it your mission to educate your audience, you’ll have infographic gold in your design.
The more your boss will learn from your infographic, the more valuable it will be to them and therefore more impressive.
Your goal as the information bearer is to present your boss with data that they can act upon. Set your boss up for success by giving them the tools they need to make informed decisions.
When you’ve finalized your design and delivered the infographic via the medium of your choice, you can start to relax. But your job isn’t done.
In order to make sure that the information you presented was valuable, you want to follow up with your boss.
Depending on how you choose to deliver the infographic, this can be done either in the presentation or in the email that your infographic came with.
Of course, you want to ensure that they don’t have any questions regarding the information you presented in your infographic, but before you do that, give them bulleted highlights of your infographic.
This should also be accompanied by any actionable next-steps that your boss should consider taking.
Even if they choose not to take your advice, giving your boss possible next steps helps to clarify the data and do some of the thinking for them.
Plus, you’ll solidify your place in their mind as an expert in this domain.
Everyone wants to impress their boss. If you’re delivering content regularly to your manager, it’s a good idea to design infographics that keep them happy and keep you on their radar. Clear infographics will benefit both you and your company.
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