With organisations using on average 19 different types of tech in their learning, there are so many options out there, it almost feels as if we’re facing tech overload!
Among all the hype surrounding the new tech though, are we forgetting that digital can also mean low tech?
I’m thinking of interactive PDFs, animated PowerPoint videos, and in particular infographics.
Infographics seem to have been around for ages, but they remain just as effective now as they were when first introduced.
Used most often as a marketing tool, they take text-heavy information and present it in a visual way. This helps to deliver powerful messages using very few words, relying on images, charts and diagrams to bring the content to life.
Infographics typically take the form of an online poster, but they can be more interactive, incorporating animated elements and even videos to become more immersive.
And although they may not be considered a staple part of a learning solution, there are some compelling reasons to start taking them more seriously.
After all, their main aim is to provide an audience with concise information in a memorable way, making them perfect for learning.
So, I wanted to share some of my top reasons to consider including infographics in your blend.
While it may sound obvious, it’s hard to ignore the captivating visuals infographics deliver.
They are, quite simply, a feast for the eyes, which instinctively roam over the colours, contrasting shapes and images.
From a learning perspective, this is just the sort of sensory stimulus you’re after. In contrast to text-heavy content, imagery is naturally absorbing, instantly capturing our attention.
There’s a reason why we retain just 10% of what we hear, 20% of what we read, and 80% of what we see!
That’s why infographics are hard to ignore as a powerful engagement tool.
Tell a story
Infographics don’t simply list a collection of facts. Instead, they visually represent a narrative, guiding the reader logically through a topic or theme, much like an old-fashioned comic book.
Often, they will start with striking statistics to outline a problem, before going on to explain the steps that can be taken to overcome it.
In a learning context, this can be a great way of adding some colour to mandatory compliance training. Fire safety awareness, for example, could be neatly taught using the enticing imagery of an infographic. The four-step ‘PASS’ fire extinguisher technique – that’s ‘Pull-Aim-Squeeze-Sweep’ in case you weren’t familiar – would translate especially well; the step-by-step approach is perfect for infographics.
Talking of memory, imagery is proven to help us retrieve and remember information. The brain is hardwired to process visuals, far more than it is words.
The right visuals can make abstract, complex content far more concrete, giving them greater meaning to reinforce understanding.
Think back to the last thing you read and the last thing you watched. How much easier is it to remember the images on the screen than the words on the page?
Bearing in mind that just 12% of learning professionals are managing to improve the application of learning in the workplace, infographics could be the answer you’ve been looking for.
Infographics can pack a lot of information into a condensed space.
In other words, they get the message across incredibly concisely, often using space the equivalent to a side of A4 to address a topic that would have taken several pages using text alone.
Our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text and 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, so infographics allow readers to rapidly scan through the content and grasp the information they need.
This also makes them the perfect resource for time poor employees who are looking for a quick introduction to a broader theme or topic.
There’s no need to overcomplicate infographics; static images and text can be just as effective as something more technical.
But if you have the resources or budget available, incorporating animation or even video to your infographic can drive engagement with a truly immersive, interactive experience to take your infographic to another level.
Either way, infographics offer a captivating resource for your learners that can be easily adapted to your organisation’s capabilities.
This makes them a cost-effective learning tool that can be integrated alongside your learning offering with minimal faff.
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Are you feeling inspired to add infographics to your learning? Take a look at the infographic wizardry of our very own Design Specialist Teresa Lovell!
Kerry Pascall, Head of Digital Learning, Bray Leino Learning
In my series of blogs you can expect some tips on implementing eLearning, what to consider when commissioning eLearning, design tips, software and authoring pros and cons, and general advice on everything eLearning!