There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. This is true because our brains process visual information far better than the analytical ones.
This is why even high-end cars still have analog speedometers rather than the digital ones, even though the technology for both exists for over 30 years.
Information graphics or Infographics are trying to introduce this concept in the field of visualization of technical information, the Web and the IT industry.
Infographics are visual representations of complex data, information or knowledge in a simple standardized graphic form that can later be used in various fields of science and professions.
Typical examples of infographics include traffic signs, streetcar maps and metro subway maps.
Infographics on the Web act as information aggregators and storage space savers, because one map or symbol can replace hundreds of lines of text.
Infographics are also trying to simplify the whole web browsing experience by quickly and clearly depicting complex data. A good example of this are the animations made in Adobe Flash which have revolutionized mapping solutions and various other products on the web.
Infographics are changing the Web by turning vast amounts of text and boring information into an incredibly practical and easy-to-consume content. The best examples of this are various maps, diagrams, models, life cycle maps, tables and trends such as the ones depicted at:
All of the above examples show the enormous potential of infographics to represent various data in a unique and interesting way.
Perhaps one of the most widely known examples of infographics is the video statistics option on YouTube.com. The option can be accessed via the 'show video statistics' button under every video clip in YouTube's database. This option shows the visual statistics of every video clip in regards to various criteria, such as: total views, ratings and audiences by age or location.
For all of you who would like to design and produce infographics, but have no previous experience in design, there's a nice website called visual.ly. This website will build infographics for you trough a simple wizard-like interface. All you have to do is to answer a series of questions and choose your infographics template which you can later customize.
Infographics on the web have become a powerful marketing and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) technique to attract large number of backlinks and visitors to websites of interest, which is why a large number of marketeers are starting to use them.
The technique is very popular among Web developers as well, because it enables them to design visually appealing, content rich and user-friendly websites with an equal amount of information as the conventional text-based websites. With infographics, the Web is becoming more visual and easy to use.
One of the first steps in this process was the integration of image search option in search engines, which enabled the users to search the images in a visual way. Infographics are revolutionizing the Web today and turning it from a "hex editor" look into a truly visual experience.
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net