Are You Using Infographics in Learning? (You Should Be!)

Using infographics in learning? You should be!

I’ve become slightly obsessed with infographics lately.  And apparently I’m not alone – companies are using infographics for marketing, sales, branding, and just about everything else you can imagine.

People love visuals.  As learning professionals, we’ve known this for years.  I’m still scratching my head as to why people insist on crammingsomanywordsontoapowerpointslideandthenreadeachandeverywordtotheiraudience (inhale) becausemostpeopledon’tlearnthatwayincludingthepeoplewhocreatedtheawfulslideinthefirstplace

(exhale)

Okay, rant over.

As I was saying, lots of words do not necessarily guarantee a good learning experience.  Simplify!

Infographics are a fantastic medium to help you do that.

Why?  Here are 3 reasons why infographics are a great tool to use in learning (besides the fact that people can’t get enough of ’em):

1.  They’re different.  Sure, they’ve been around for awhile, but infographics have become very chic in the past couple of years.  Consider replacing a tired handout with a groovy infographic for your next training session or workshop.  Dazzle your audience with a stunning visual arrangement of facts or a message.  I’m willing to bet your participants will love the fresh approach to storytelling, and you will have a great springboard for discussion!

2.  They’re efficient.  Sure, you could present page after page of facts and figures.  Or…you could quickly import your data into a bright, clear infographic, and save yourself, and your reader, time.  People can easily digest facts when presented visually.  Infographics are the perfect tool to accomplish this.  Now, am I suggesting you ditch your company’s required annual report format and replace it with a brightly-colored visual?  Of course not.  I don’t think your boss, or your Board of Directors for that matter, would appreciate that.  Just like anything else, consider your audience, and use the method appropriately. While we’re on the subject, I also wouldn’t start replacing EVERY asset in my catalog with an infographic, just because it’s a trendy thing to do.  Look for opportunities to communicate details or tell a story visually.  Start small, and add these graphics into your programs when it makes sense.  When a visual asset would truly be an asset.

3. They get attention and drive traffic.  Maybe you’re in the process of marketing a new Learning & Development program or initiative.  Maybe you’re a newbie blogger (like me!).  Maybe you’re trying to share some survey results to stakeholders in your organization.  Maybe you want to communicate some fun information and facts about your company culture to new employees as part of your onboarding/preboarding program.  Infographics are a fantastic way to make a splash.  Over the past couple of weeks, my mind has been dizzy with ideas on how I can utilize them!

Now, how can non-techie people (again, like me!) create professional-looking infographics?  Check out this great link that I stumbled upon via someone I follow on Twitter.  I created this simple infographic using easel.ly, one of the sites listed in the article.  Keep in mind, I was just playing around, so there aren’t any stats, but even so…this only took me about 10 minutes…if I can do it, you can do it.  Imagine the possibilities!

As I continue to explore uses for infographics in learning and onboarding, I would love to hear your ideas!  Have you used infographics in your programs?  What tools have you used?  What stories have you told?  How did your participants react to them?  Comment and share, friends, so we can all learn…please and thank you!

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