The power of an infographic

When I heard about Pinterest, I thought it was all about recipes, fashion ideas for your home, hairstyles, makeup, etc. I never thought I would find health information nor did I think I would find health statistics.

Once I started to explore Pinterest I found lots of health infographics that were easy and fun to read. Infographics are used to teach and inform the public about certain topics; in my research I found a few on health.

According to the infographic below, people are more likely to read an infographic than text articles. Infographics simplify information in way that attracts and inform a large audience.

An infographic can be a data rich visualization of a story. We don’t have to worry about methods and theories on how the information was found, infographics give us the exact information we are looking for in a way that is easy to read and understand. It’s also a good way to remember what we have read.

If we want to compare the United States with other countries regarding preventable death rates, but don’t have time to read a 10 page long paper, we can search for an infographic, like the one below and get the information we are looking for.

Statistics can sometimes be overwhelming and may sometimes lose their significance. Infographics can help bring the necessary information together in a clear design in which color and a few numbers can be an educational piece of information.

We all know that childhood obesity has become a big problem in the United States. The infographic below gives us a quick view of where most children and teens stand in regards to being overweight or obese. The pictures are clear and let us “view” the numbers in a way that we can draw meaning to the data. If this information was presented on an Excel spreadsheet or any other spreadsheet, it may not have been as impactful or easily understood.

If we ever want to compare two things together, infographics can help us organize and visualize the similarities and the differences by creating parallels like the one below. Some comparisons can be difficult to express with words and the point trying to be made may not be easy to represent. When using infographics in a neatly organized way, the comparison becomes clear.

Here we have an infographic that compares twitter with pinterest on how each site is used, who uses each site and how the number of active users. If we were to have read this from an article, the comparisons may not have been as clear as they are with the infographic below.

Public Health is usually about raising awareness and a lot of important information may seem dry or unpleasant to other people. Infographics can help communicate such information, make it more interesting and more likely to be shared. The example below raises awareness about health-care spending vs. healthy.

I found infographics to be a creative and educational tool that simplifies a complex idea, principally when talking about a topic that may contain dry material or an in-depth analysis. In our reading “Here Comes Everybody” Clay Shirky says, “If a large enough population of users is trying things, then the happy accidents have a much higher chance of being discovered.” I think that infographics is a neat way to get people to try new things and change unhealthy choices to healthy choices.


6 thoughts on “The power of an infographic

  1. Patricia, I love this collection of infographics you’ve shared with us. You might have seen this already, but this is where I go to find random infographics containing health informatin:

    I really like all the different examples you provided. There is such a huge variety of infographics out there, it’s nice that you laid out the different uses for the different templates.

    One suggestion I have is spacing out the different examples a little more, either by putting in titles or including page breaks. It was a little confusing to read through and see where one example stopped and the next one started. Other than that, great post!

  2. Patricia, I completely agree that infographics are a great way to convey information in an effective way. You’ve provided some great examples of helpful infographics. Bryanna posted some great resources, have you tried to make one yet? I can’t post one of my favorite infographics about infographics in the comments area, but this is the link: One of the most astounding facts from that infographic: the usage of visualized data has increased 9900% on the internet since 2007!

  3. Hey–thanks for the helpful information about infographics on Pintrest. I, too, mostly thought of Pintrest as a place for finding DIY projects and crafts, and had never considered that it might be useful for finding public health information. You mentioned that you are able to actually search for infographics on Pintrest–is that a specific search function? Or how exactly does that work? The only thing that would give me pause about finding infographics isolated from their original context/source is that the data may not be accurate/clear/substantiatable which may not make them super useful. I have recently discovered thanks to this blog how easy and useful it is to MAKE infographics, and these are excellent suggestions for types of infographics to make. Thanks!

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