What are infographics?

Infographic is a solution for presenting information through palatable visual nuggets. In general, there are two types of infographics –  

2.Qualitative Infographics

When the infographics are designed for the purpose of learning and when delivered through the various modes of e-learning like mobile, desktop etc, it’s called e-learning infographics.

What are the benefits of using infographics in e-learning?

1. They can condense the learning topic into meaningful visual representations
2. Easy to  read, understand, and remembered
3. Social sharing is convenient
4.Simplifies complex concepts or ideas
5.Increases knowledge retention
6.Can engage the learners

Here are the 13 popular ways to improve your e-learning infographics:

1.Analyze the learning need

While infographics are a perfect fit to present information in a visually delightful manner. I recommend performing a quick need analysis to find out if infographics are the ideal solution to meet the learning objectives. At times, there are more perfect ways and techniques to satisfy the learning objectives than using infographics in e-learning.

2.Align with the overall objective

What is the purpose of the infographics?

•Is the e-learning infographic just supplementing a learning content or they can be a standalone one?

•What all points and references must be included in the infographics?

Before designing infographics for e-learning, the designers must understand the learning objectives as well as the overall objective. Understanding it can help the designers to bring better designs that aids in creating effective e-learning infographic that is aligned to the overall objective.

3.Match the infographic style with the learning content

•What is the infographic style that suits the learning content and objective?

•Is it a bar graph style or a pie chart or other unique graphic designs.

I recommend the designers to choose a format that is not so complex and it is not creating a visual strain to the learners. Choose the style that fits the learning objectives, learners and the learning content.

4. Don’t miss out on including the title

An infographic is only complete with a  title that explains the context. The learner first  looks for a title to understand what the infographic is all about and then proceeds to understand the infographics.  I recommend including short,crisp and catchy learning title.

5.Determine the visual hierarchy

With certain tricks and tweaks, the designers can create a visual hierarchy in the infographics. What is the most important point that should grab the focus  of the learners?

•How do you require to arrange and place the content?

•Identify what your audience needs to see first, second, and third. Then make the most important information visually prominent.

•The designer should have a clear idea about the visual hierarchy  that he/she plans to include in the e-learning infographics.

6.Plan the colors

Colors can be the best heroes and on the other side a true villain for infographic designs. Hence, graphic designers need to ensure that they choose the right color combinations in the e-learning infographics. Let’s not forget the users with color blindness and who are visually impaired. For example for learners with visual impairments, use maximum contrast throughout. In general, place dark text on a light background or to show a difference between two sets of data or to make one element stand out, select colors that are well separated on the color wheel.
Also, a complex and mixed up color scheme can create visual strain for the user and the learner fails to keep the focus on.  To know more about colors in e-learning, you can refer to my blog here.

7. Use a consistent alignment style  

Use a consistent alignment style for the objects in the infographics. Don’t allow the objects or elements to be mixed up. For example, the text extending outside the box or frame, differently aligning the objects like icons etc can simply lead to more confusion for the learners.

8. Only include necessary content

The objectives of  Infographics in e-learning is condensing and summarising the learning topic into effective visually presentable graphics. Hence every e-learning infographics should ideally include only the  most necessary learning contents . Pick up only the most needed elements that can satisfy the learning objective.

This is a careful exercise. Hence I feel that designers should have the ready content that is approved by the organisation to be included in infographics.  

9.Design for accessibility

I recommend the designers to follow the rules for accessibility in creating infographics. It’s not about the colors alone, instead, the designers should consider the other factors like labelling, choosing proper fonts, use of lines etc

Here are some tips to design for accessibility  
•Don’t use color alone to convey meaning. Instead, make effective use of texts like proper labelling etc.
•Chose a reduced color palette
•Use contrast for better readability

10. Choose appropriate fonts

In e-learning infographics, choose the fonts that are legible and have easily recognizable letterforms. There are many fonts that are too flashy or fashionable. I don’t recommend including such fonts in e-learning infographic as it can make difficult for the learners .

Here are some other practical tips when choosing fonts for e-learning

1. Make sure you don’t include full capital letters in the designs
2. The ideal font size for the title is 16 and for the other texts, it is 12-14.
3. Look for proper spacing, double check for extra spaces that might have crept in.
4. Make the text left aligned as the learners start reading from the left to right

11. Keep the background minimalistic

This is another simple but effective tip while creating infographics. Including an overloaded background can simply make the e-learning infographics ineffective as the learner feels difficult to set the focus. The background and the data presented will overlap and can confuse the learner. Hence, instead of overloading the background, the designers can make it minimal

12.Use conventions that are popular and accepted

The domain of graphics and graphic designs have several popular and accepted conventions that should ideally be followed while designing infographics for e-learning.  The learners are also very much familiar with many such conventions and popular usage.

For example, there are many icons and symbols  like a social sharing icon represented mostly as rightwards turned alphabet V with 3 points. Or otherwise, in e-learning, the use of the mobile device as icons can represent mobile learning etc. Over the years this have become the standard practices and the designers can choose to follow the same.

Here are 12 popular ways to improve e-learning infographics, feel free to share your suggestions and recommendations using the comment box below.

Further readings:

4 tips to use Infographics in microlearning
Are you using Infographics in your E-Learning Courses?