Infographics – love ‘em or hate ‘em, they’re cropping up more and more on the Internet. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, they are large images that display information in a graphical form. They’re often used to simplify complex or large sets of information, like breaking down the typical user base of a trendy web service. Sure, that could be done in a spreadsheet, but that’s not very attractive to look at.
If you enjoy browsing infographics, or are looking to use some on your site, visual.ly is a great resource. It acts as a repository for infographics submitted by other users, which you can embed on your own site. If you want to take a shot at creating infographics yourself, there are a few automatic ones that take information from your Facebook or Twitter account that you can play with.
What about creating your own custom infographics? Well, other than the template ones, you have two options. First, if you’re good with a graphics package, just create it yourself and upload it for others to see. There is a second option where you can partner with a designer to tell your story through infographics but the prices for this start at… wait for it… $4,000 (USD). That’s well out of the reach of joe public, although for a company looking to leverage the popularity of this medium, it’s fairly realistic.
For me, the main attraction is being able to play with the template infographics, and browse the library of user submissions with an eye to using some of them on this and other sites. Why not check it out and see what you think?
And speaking of template infographics, here’s one I created in just a few minutes on how the Geek-Speak Facebook page is performing: