Using Graphics

Let’s be honest – people have a hard time staying focused online. There’s just so much information available, and people want to minimize the time they spend searching. Graphics are a way to make your content stand out and help a reader find the information they’re searching for. Research shows that most people only read about 50% of any one article, while they see almost 100% of content on graphics, photos, and videos.

So what exactly is a graphic and why are they engaging? The Professional Association for Design defines a graphic as “projecting ideas and experiences with visual and textual content.” Essentially, graphics are a visual way to present information. They can be made up of images, icons, or text. Graphics are a great way to portray information because people process visual images 600,000 times faster and retain 60% more information compared to text.

Graphics should relay an important piece of information to your audience.  This helps readers skim through your content and quickly understand the main points of a paragraph or section. Images and graphics should highlight the most important information. These serve as visual cues to move people through the page, increasing readability.

Graphics come in several different shapes and sizes. One type of graphic is known as an infographic. An infographic is like a diagram that visually represents a lot of data or information. Infographics are a great way to simplify large amounts of information and show it in an engaging way. Because they are visually appealing, infographics are 30 times more likely to be read than articles containing only text.

Infographics are created with the intent of educating a person on a complicated subject. They are also used to show a large amount of data and research in one form. When an author has a lot of information, but realizes the information may create an article that’s too long or complex, an infographic is a good option.

Another type of graphic that is currently gaining popularity is a micrographic. Micrographics are visual elements that contain one or two pieces of data. Basically, they are a smaller version of an infographic. They help you share a simple message and allow your reader to consume one bit of information in a quick, visual way.

The best way to create micrographics is to build an infographic and divide it up based on each section of your post. This guides your reader through the post and highlights important information. Then, at the end of the post, put the full infographic with shareable links. Integrating graphics throughout your post helps readers move down the page and increases shareability.

These types of color schemes create harmony on the page. If you use other combinations of colors, the appearance may be too busy or too bland. To explore different color schemes, you can check outAdobe’s Color Wheel. Experiment with different color combinations and see how different colors relate to each other on the color wheel.

When choosing colors for your website, think about your audience. Older audiences may have a harder time reading light colors and small fonts. During Build Your Blog Conference 2016, Guy Kawasaki spoke with us about website branding. He said, “I simply cannot read light gray text that’s a size 8 point font.” On the other hand, younger audiences prefer bolder colors. Their eyesight is also probably better so they can read fonts with serifs or a smaller point font. Gender can make an impact on color preference as well. Women tend to prefer softer colors while men prefer bright colors.

When you eventually decide on the perfect color palette for your site, use that color scheme to brand your site. Include those colors on every page. Incorporate the colors into your logo. Use the colors frequently in social media posts. This will help you create an emotional connection between your audience and your brand.

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