The Importance Of Simplifying Data

Did you know, infographics have been around since the dawn of time?

You may not know it or believe it, but consider the drawings on a caveman’s wall. Purely aesthetic? Not really. Scientific research shows that iconography and pictograms were used as a means of sharing information — to ward off wary neanderthals from a looming bison or more predatory creatures.

And so as incredible as it sounds, the language of depicting information originated from these prehistoric times, later progressing to cuneiform and hieroglyphics. It seems humanity has always had this innate desire to share information.

But as the world has evolved, so has the capacity of the data available to us. From the start of the information age right through to today, a thousand historical references to the exact biological makeup of a sloth can be found with just one click. So how do people explain that information?

Enter the need (and want) for infographics. Evolving from small pictograms, today, analytical creatives like myself take a 1,000 thousandth reference points with the goal of sharing it in just a few images.

And that, is the power of infographics.

Part of that power is to simplify data into an easy to understand format that makes comprehension crystal clear and instantaneous.  Here’s why:

Visual perception

  • Almost 50% of the brain is focused on visual processing
  • 70% of all your sensory receptors are in your eyes
  • The brain can identify images seen for as little as 13 milliseconds

Visual proof

  • Colour visuals increase the willingness to read by 80%
  • Text and illustrations help people navigate 323% better than just text
  • People are 17% more productive and use 20% fewer mental resources when information is displayed visually

Think about all the signs you see when you’re out and about — whether its road signs, or for wayfinding in a hospital or mall.  What about the icons, glyphs and symbols you see everywhere you look — particularly online. These are all types of or representations of infographics, and they all play such an important part in our everyday lives.

Nabil Moosa is Head of Infographics at Alsayegh Media, the first fully-dedicated infographics division in the Gulf . He delivers huge value for clients by combining deep expertise in data visualisation with mastery in data mining, user experience, information architecture and design. In his spare time, Nabil is a football devotee, tech fanatic and shawarma connoisseur par excellence