In the web world, images are pretty important – so much so that Jan Rezab of Social Bakers stated that 70% of content shared online is picture related.
But the reasons for it has as much to do with good images as it does our neurochemistry. The truth is we are wired to process visually. 20% of our brain is devoted to just processing vision, but when you combine cross-wiring of vision with other areas of the brain, vision accounts for 60% of our brain. We are by and large, visual creatures, and so images are important to use in your communication!
The website Hubspot claims that 40% of people react more strongly to visual information than text. Dan Zarella will tell you that on facebook, photos and images are shared up to five times more than text.
Based on that alone, there’s a very heavy incentive to rely on images to get your messages across.
But doesn’t that mean graphics designers, and time, and money, and complicated software?
Not … totally.
Actually, technology is making this an easier task every day. There are several amazing tools out there that drop that learning curve when it comes to making infographics. Let me give you an example.
I made this infographic using a website called piktochart – it’s free, useful, and helps get good design at your fingertips. This particular chart is about the work of Alan Page Fisk, a researcher whose work into relationships is fundamental to the study of commons. Through this infographic, very complex information about his four types of relationships is shared very easily!
Using tools like this, it’s possible to increase the amount of recall and retention of the message you are making.
In Media Psychology, we call this a function of Visual Literacy.
Being able to understand and make use of the way the brain takes toward information plays a crucial role in whether your message is received or not by most people. Making sense of the visual world is very much a literacy in the truest sense – the visual world is something that we read, interpret and add meaning to every day. Imagine how people react when they find a teen who cannot read. Most of us react in shock – if you’re like me you probably drop everything and swear that you and the poor kid won’t leave whatever room you’re in until he can at least recognize some sentences.
In the internet age, not having a basic command of visual literacy puts you and your organization at just as much of a disadvantage. If you’re not thinking about how to simplify and share your story through infographics and design, you’re not leveraging your message to be understood, or shared.