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The Art and Science of Facts & Figures
They say a picture is worth a thousand words… Mark Smiciklas in The Power of Infographics: Using Pictures to Communicate and Connect with Your Audience (2012) defines information graphics or infographics as graphical visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly.
Infographics have been around for many years, but exponential increase in data volumes and advances in technology – hardware and software – have made it an easy tool to distil large amounts of information.
One of the biggest challenges we’ve had in Nigeria is the black box that’s government information. Reports are produced and buried and a lot of people don’t even know the simple rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
As we have seen with the work of our partners at Budgit, who have made it much simpler for the average Nigerian to understand State and Federal Budgets, there’s a lot that can be done when large amounts of data (text and numbers) are graphically represented.
With our work at EiE, we think the right information in the right hands is essential to empowering a new cadre of engaged citizens and we are looking for people who have graphic design skills who also have a passion for research and data. There are 3 parts to an infographic – visual (colors & graphics), content (statistics & facts) and the knowledge (insight... what do you want people to take way?).
“Infographics are effective because of their visual element. Humans receive input from all five of their senses (sight, touch, hearing, smell, taste), but they receive significantly more information from vision than any of the other four. 50% of the human brain is dedicated to visual functions, and images are processed faster than text. The brain processes pictures all at once, but processes text in a linear fashion, meaning it takes much longer to obtain information from text. Furthermore, it is estimated that 65% of the population are visual learners (as opposed to auditory or kinesthetic), so the visual nature of infographics caters to a large portion of the population.”
If you are interested in working with us on this, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Infographics” as the subject line.