Infographics are typically tall and thin. They are subject-specific, visually engaging, fact-filled mini-stories. My favorite dynamic one is from Neo Mam Studios.
I haven’t yet had a client ask me to deliver a complete qualitative research report as an infographic. And if they did, after more than a year of putting my toe in that water, I have to say I’m not sure it can be done – without losing a lot of the richness qualitative research is known for.
However, I have been borrowing heavily from this field in my reports, and you can too.
Word clouds are infographics, at their most basic. Want to up the ante? Consider showcasing subgroups: use an icon of the subgroup (in this case, gender) and create word clouds for reactions by subgroup (to a brand, to advertising, to an experience, etc.). This sums up a lot of info in one image.
I subscribe to Piktochart – and even if you don’t, you can get great inspiration from it or one of the many online infographic services (Canva and Visme.co, for example). Lauren McCluskey and I presented on the topic of infographics in qualitative research to our local QRCA chapter last summer. We created this infographic using one block of a larger infographic so it would fit on a PowerPoint slide. That’s the trick: if you’re using a template that fits your topic, it’s likely that only one block will be usable in your final deliverable. In my book, that’s okay – it can make that one very important page stand out.
Here’s another example: I saw and re-worked this idea in PowerPoint to showcase three different personas. It was easier to create this layout using boxes and coloring them in PowerPoint than trying to create the actual page in Canva because I needed to add more text categories to tell my story and PowerPoint is faster for me. In the end, these three pages were highly visual and memorable; the client loved them. (Plus, they fit the page perfectly!)
Finally, the biggest “trick” I use isn’t really an infographic at all, but it can feel that way. Often when I’m summarizing key findings, I’ll create custom icons, using my subscription to The Noun Project. Again, I take inspiration from what I’m seeing the designers do, but it saves me a lot more time to create it on my own in PowerPoint. Here are a few examples from a report, where the color-coding added extra meaning: strength, needs work, and hurdle.
Does it take extra time? Yes. Does it make my reports more user-friendly and impactful? I’m told so. Plus, I think it satisfies the “wanna be art director” in me and makes me think more creatively!
Let me know what you think and please share how you’re using infographics in your practice.