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12 Tips for Creating Animated Infographics

Improve your animated infographics with these tips.

Animated infographics are more powerful for engaging your readers and helping them comprehend the material than static infographics. Best suited for social media platforms, these dynamic pieces of information can quickly grab your readers’ attention and hold it for longer. Motion graphics also make a stronger and longer-lasting impression than static images.

Animated infographics leverage the visual nature of humans and our preference for and ability to better process visual information. Thus, they make a perfect learning tool. Along with visuals, animated infographics also take advantage of kinetic learning, which allows users to interact with an infographic. A combination of visual and kinetic approaches makes an infographic even more effective and memorable.

However, regardless of the advantages of animated infographics over static infographics, they can hinder your marketing efforts if done incorrectly. Animation for sake of animation won’t get you the desired results. To communicate your message successfully, a motion graphic must be thoroughly thought out, well-designed, and creative. The tips below go over important points for designing effective animated infographics.

1. Get Clear on Your “Why”

Before embarking on the path of graphic animation, carefully consider whether the animation is even necessary. Is it integral to your project, or is it simply a supplemental piece? If your static infographic already does a great job of telling the story, then adding motion effects to it will create unnecessary clutter.

2. Define Your Goal

If you decided to go the animation route, clarify the purpose of your project, as this will affect the design process later. Think about the following features of your project:

  • Decide what format will serve you best ― whether it be an explainer, a narrative, a product or service overview, a teaser, etc.
  • Figure out what emotional response you want to get from the viewers and what actions you’d like them to take.
  • Consider how much awareness you would like to create with your motion graphic.

3. Always Keep Your Brand in Mind

To establish a strong presence on the market, you must consider every aspect of your business. Animated pieces are no exception ― they must reflect your brand’s essence. All elements, such as music, video, and audio, must be in sync with one another and with your company’s style.

4. Experiment Freely

Image via Flickr by Semtrio

Creating an animated infographic is a perfect chance for your team members to inspire each other, test new ideas, and explore everyone’s talents. The more each member is immersed in the process, the more inspiration they generate and the better the final product will be.

Although you can create an animated version for any infographic, it is best to begin experimenting with your most successful one. For an outstanding piece, design parts of your animated infographic separately, so that you can move the parts around easily as well as use various bits and pieces for other content. To build up confidence and to hone your animation skill, you and your team could experiment with an internal project first.

5. Less Is More

As grand as your ambitions might be, consider your resources. It is better to err on the side of simplicity and execute your animated infographic perfectly than to have a complex project that is cumbersome and poorly done.

6. Start With GIFs

GIFs (graphic interchange formats) are a great way to get started with infographic animation. They appeal to viewers due to their simplicity and amusement factor. GIFs perform well on social media channels and enhance blogs and email marketing campaigns.

You can create GIFs out of single elements of the infographic. For a successful GIF, overview all aspects of your infographic, including images and data visualization. By adding motion, you can make already valuable information stand out even more.

7. Make Motion Graphics

Videos are a popular format for storytelling because they don’t require any action from viewers except for pressing a play button. Motion graphics help enhance the learning experience by saving viewers time and energy. Often, a full-length infographic can be condensed into a 30-second motion graphic.

Turning your infographic into a motion graphic is a good idea for formats such as tutorials or process overviews, for example.

8. Encourage Scrolling

One of the ways to make your infographic interactive and engage viewers is to have them scroll in order to see the story come alive. The scrolling effect compels people to go through the whole infographic.

In combination with subtle and elaborate animation, the scrolling technique helps readers get through mundane information with a lot more ease and enjoyment. Scrolling can also add an oomph factor to basic narratives and make the punchline that much stronger, such as in this iPod capacity visualization.

9. Add Pages

A great technique for keeping users engaged with a complex topic is to lay out the information on several pages. This way, you won’t overwhelm readers with too much information but rather help them process large amounts of data easier.

10. Highlight Sections

A great infographic condenses an enormous amount of information into a single graphic. Although such pieces are easier for viewers to digest than plain text, they are loaded with data and require some effort from readers. This is where interactive highlighting saves the day. It focuses viewers’ attention on relevant sections of the infographic and thus lessens the confusion.

11. Give Them Options

To spike your readers’ curiosity, provide them with an option to explore on their own. In terms of infographic design, have some clicks and rollovers offering a deeper coverage of topics. Such an option also gives readers the freedom to skip the areas they are either already familiar with or not interested in.

12. Invite Participation

Although less common, one of the most powerful techniques for engaging readers is the one that requires user participation and involves personalized data entry. Applicable only for certain types of topics, this method creates customized experiences for different users. By entering their own data, visitors can relate to and connect with the infographic’s message even more.

Now that you know the benefits of animated infographics and how to make them effective, go out there and try making one. If you need help getting started, contact our design team for inspiration and guidance.

About the author

Anna Chumakova