Why visuals are key in online interaction

Online interaction

Images, designs, and colours stimulate the visual processing system in our brains.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

What you need to know:

  • With the advent of technology, text-heavy documents have been rendered less preferred in favour of infographics.
  • A well-designed infographic will dissect a complex subject and keep readers interested in the content longer than a long text would.

In the adage "a picture is worth a thousand words," a picture does indeed tell a thousand words. Throughout history, we have communicated with drawings, paintings, and other visuals, from our ancestors living in caves to today's billboards and digital pop-ups. Human brains are wired to read pictures, videos, and charts. Lengthy texts rapidly deplete our attention span.

Images, designs, and colours stimulate the visual processing system in our brains. It’s the reason why children's books are full of pictures to encourage reading and interest. In the digital age, infographics are an effective way of communicating with audiences. 

An infographic aims to share a complex subject by carefully combining text and images to form an appealing, easy-to-understand graphic.

Visuals break up vast amounts of information into bite-size chunks that are easy to digest. They increase the appetite for reading, making them an excellent way of communicating with our readers. 

With the advent of technology, text-heavy documents have been rendered less preferred in favour of infographics. Apart from reducing realms of information into digestible infographics, visuals mitigate against information overload. Information overload is the situation where we are bombarded with too much information beyond the capacity of our brains to comprehend. 

A well-designed infographic will dissect a complex subject and keep readers interested in the content longer than a long text would.

The goal of an infographic is not only to tell readers a story but also to pique their interest and get them to lean in and read some more. To tell a good story, infographics are more than a simple mishmash of photos or illustrations with a few facts. 

Compelling infographics

It requires artfully weaving texts, numbers, and pictures together. Stories are powerful tools that help us reach the hearts and minds of people and get them to reflect or do something.

Especially in today's age, when so much information is available online, infographics can reach every corner of the internet as people tend to share what they find appealing. Content carefully couched in infographics is likely to catch on and go viral.

If you are new to making compelling infographics, there are easy-to-use tools online. Canva is a popular design tool for non-designers. 

It is a powerful online design tool to create everything from brochures to presentations. Users have access to an extensive library of images, icons, fonts, and features.

Use Visme, available at Visme.com, if your infographic will contain a lot of charts and custom sections. 

Some designers speak highly of Picktogram as it provides beautiful templates that should suit your aesthetic needs. These are just a few tools, but the toolbox has many more from which to choose.

Whether you are sharing information to inform, sell a product or draw attention to an important cause, consider converting your data and texts into infographics.

Mr. Wambugu is an Informatician. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @Samwambugu2

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