Facebook and Pinterest love infographics. But what makes an infographic effective? A new study published in the American Journal of Health Behavior identified four key features that make infographics memorable and effective in promoting healthy changes.
"Illustrating research findings can be a fun and effective way of communicating with the non-scientific public but in order to make infographics useful, they must be concise, clear, and actionable," says co-author Rebecca Robbins, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow at the NYU School of Medicine and former Food and Brand Lab researcher.
Feedback was first gathered from focus groups in order to understand what makes an infographic effective and impactful. Following this feedback, 20 health-related infographics were presented to fifty individuals in a slideshow format to represent what one might see while browsing the internet. The infographics were analyzed based on dimensions such as whether the infographic has an action-oriented title, a short title, simple text, color, short text, and humor. These infographics were presented to the studied sample in a slideshow format to represent what one might see while browsing the internet.
The researchers found that four main dimensions were significant in determining whether an infographic was deemed successful in persuading the viewer: an action-oriented title, short text, clear language, and an illustrated direct course of action.
"You don't need Keith Haring or Rembrandt to create your infographics," says lead author Brian Wansink, PhD, Cornell University Professor, Food and Brand Lab Director and author of Slim by Design "You simply need make a clear with what you want people to take-away and most importantly, illustrate a clear call-to-action."