The Art of Content: Why Do Our Brains Crave Infographics?

According to Social Science Research Network, 65% of people are visual learners. In fact, a study conducted to evaluate the effects of text illustrations showed that individuals who followed directions with both text and illustrations did 323% better than their peers who had only written instructions. 

Yes, 323% better than their peers. And yet so many websites are so text heavy.

In addition, studies show that consumers recall only 10% of the information they’ve heard three days after they’ve heard it. Written communication is recalled 20% of the time after three days, and when information is coupled with a relevant image, 80% of the information was retained in the same time period.

And when it comes to marketing, successful content needs to be convincing. The Wharton School of Business learned that audience members were convinced by a verbal-visual presentation 67% of the time, while a presentation that was only verbal left audience members only 50% convinced.

Of all human communication, 93% is non-verbal, and research conducted by the 3M Corporation shows that visual communication is processed by the brain 60,000 times faster than text. This means that a well-done infographic can convey your message to your target audience almost instantaneously.

Not only is visual communication easier for the brain to process, but it is also naturally more attractive to human beings. Eye-tracking studies conducted by Nielsen Norman Group showed that information coupled with relevant images garnered more attention than text alone. In fact, consumers paid more close attention to the images than to the even text that accompanied them.

These are some pretty compelling reasons to use infographics, but we’ve saved the best for last: marketers using infographics are 12 percent more likely to grow their business than those who don’t.


The rest of this article can be read in Issue One of the TEN ALPHAS magazine The Art of Content, available here along with the other feature articles:

  • Shining a light on unbelievably beautiful content, with Alex Kesselaar
  • Why editors make the best directors, with Adrian Powers
  • Getting savvy with content strategy, with Monica Davidson
  • A strategy for your content strategy
  • The Art of Perseverance

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