The new Wake County, NC website went live this week. Instead of relying on traditional communication methods to get the word out, we opted to create a comprehensive online media kit for the media and our citizens. The crown jewel was a spiffy infographic that brings some of the facts about the site into a colorful and easy-to-read visual format.
If done well, infographics can cover a lot of informational ground without overwhelming readers. Our particular one outlines the history, stats, features and drivers of the new site in an attractive format that does not intimidate or bore the casual reader.
Infographics don’t require any prior knowledge of the topic. You don’t need to know anything about our website to understand and appreciate the one we created. Governments have lots of information we want people to know — newsworthy stuff that we need to boil down and distribute as effectively as possible. Oftentimes, we’ve only got a few seconds to catch an eye. News releases, white papers and bulky reports often won’t cut it these days, particularly with the wide scale of audiences we serve at the local level.
Haven’t done an infographic before? Give it a try!
1) Define the points of content you want to cover. Think of the questions people would have about your topic, and answer several of them.
2) Use a professional designer. Don’t skimp on this one. This is not a DIY project unless you have strong graphic skills. You need to grab eyeballs and keep them on it long enough to convey your message.
3) Make it fun! Strike a balance between content and graphics – use icons, avatars and friendly fonts to make it engaging.
4) Gather some reviews. The design needs to be eye-catching but content is still king. Acquire and use that feedback to tweak it.
5) When you release it, market the heck out of it through your other channels.
To learn more about Data Visualization in Government, don’t miss DigitalGov University’s webinar, Data Visualization and Infographics in Government. A panel of experts will discuss common uses for both, characteristics of a great visualization, and how to use them.
The webinar will be Tuesday, October 9, 20012, 11:00 am – 12:00 P.M. ET