2. READING EVERYTHING
3. FINDING THE NARRATIVE
4. IDENTIFYING PROBLEMS
5. CREATING A HIERARCHY
6. BUILDING A WIREFRAME
7. CHOOSING A FORMAT
8. DETERMINING A VISUAL APPROACH
9. REFINEMENT AND TESTING
10. RELEASING IT INTO THE WORLD
Most infographics are shared online--even printed illustrations appear online in some fashion. This is the litmus test of your work. Data has the interesting characteristic of being read in many ways by different audiences. All of the fact-checking and expertise imaginable doesn’t mean you’ve discovered every aspect to the story. So even once your piece is published, online discussion can expand (or tear apart) your argument in new ways. This collective vetting often means the project is never quite done. Revisions might happen as new data comes to light. While it is intimidating to let your project become a part of this process, it is also the reason the medium is so rewarding. An intensely scrutinized design is one that has stirred the minds of its audience.
Infographic designers are unusual people. Though budgets rarely account for this involved process, their labor of love continues. Get to know an information designer and prepare to hear some strange facts: Who was the most chillwave band of 2011? Is driving why you’re fat? What are the top five cosmetic procedures in the U.S.? They might even reveal a data geek’s example of causation that explains the storks-and-babies folk tale: The data shows that the more storks in a town, the more newborn babies there will be. But the hidden variable is a town’s land area: the larger the town, the more babies are born there--and, of course, the more habitable area for storks, too.