The Science Behind the Most Popular Infographics

It has now been almost a decade since infographics were invented. But the word “infographic” itself entered our daily vocabulary only a few years ago. Here is the definition which is given by the Oxford English Dictionary, an infographic (or information graphic) is “a visual representation of information or data”. 

Infographics are mainly used to illustrate complex ideas with a visual and make things easier to understand as the ideas are represented by images and using only a few words. 

These colourful and creative illustrations are very popular on the internet because they grab viewers’ attention. As said by the free infographic maker website Venngage, “it’s crucial to remember that the visuals in an infographic must do more than excite and engage, they must help us understand and remember the content of the infographic”.

After having analysed hundreds of infographics, we can now reveal you the science behind the popularity of an infographic: what is done to grab viewers’ attention and make them want to share the infographic…

There are many factors behind the popularity of an infographic, but the main ones are definitely: the industry, the colours used, the social network platform where it is shared, and the word count.

First of all, in order to create an infographic that will be highly shared it is important to know which industries are the most popular. Usually, people are interested in topics that are relevant to their daily life, that can explain why the top three industries are: entertainment, health and social media.

Colour scheme is also an important thing to take into account when creating an infographic. The colours used have to be related to the topic of your infographic, so that from first gland the viewer instantly understands the key information that you want to convey, which is the aim of a visual representation. We found that blue is by far the most used colour, followed by red and green.

Social media play also a major role in the development of an infographic, without these platforms it is unlikely that an infographic will be noticed and shared. The most popular platforms for that are Facebook, with more than 5 million shares and Pinterest, with 700,000, then followed by Twitter and LinkdIn.

The word count is also a key point in an infographic, if there are too many words it will not grab people’s attention. We found that 39% of the most shared infographics contain less than 150 words, and only 19% have more than 500 words. As said before, an infographic aims to present complex information in a visual, therefore the most popular are usually the ones with fewer words.

To conclude, the main thing to remember when creating an infographic is to make it visual. It has been proven that people are attracted by visual content. When something is complex and hard to explain the best way to do it is using an infographic. It became really easy to do so thanks to all the free infographic maker websites such as Venngage, Visme, Canva and Piktochart, to only name a few, which offer you templates to start if you do not have the skills of a graphic designer.