Five steps to shareworthy infographics

March 6, 2013

This graphic from Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine isn’t much to look at. But it made the New York Times in 2010, and continues making rounds in the blogosophere today. Why? Because it puts a (still timely) agricultural policy topic in context with people’s plates and pocketbooks.

We’ve written recently about the proliferation of infographics, and the need to start with a strong foundation–a story–rather than relying on slick design to engage audiences. Now, we offer a tip sheet with five steps to set you on your way to shareworthy infographics.

Here’s a sneak peek of our recommended process:

  1. Get clear on goals. Think about what your audience cares about, and what you want them to know and do.
  2. Write before you draw. Weave your data into a story, and then distill it into a simple headline or tweet.
  3. Choose shapes and symbols that reference shared values, provide a sense of scale, or contrast two choices.
  4. Lay it out. Be mindful of smartphone and computer screen dimensions, and minimize scrolling.
  5. Serve it up. Distribute via traditional and social media, and make sharing easy by creating a microsite with sample tweets, social media buttons, JPEG download links, and HTML code for embedding.

Read more on our handy guide that includes examples from the field.

Nicole Lampe