10 Trends and Principles of Visual Storytelling That Every Designer Must Follow

10 Trends and Principles of Visual Storytelling That Every Designer Must Follow

Visual storytelling has gradually emerged as a crucial trend in the web and graphic design sector in the era of digital marketing. Scientifically speaking, the Visual Cortex of human brain is the largest. An average person can retain 10 % of what they hear when they are tested after 72 hours. However, when that same information is added to the data, he or she can retain up to 65%. This statistic is based on a 2008 study in the content Brain Rule Rundown.

What is visual storytelling? What are its advantages?

When it comes to evoking emotions, visuals are indeed much more useful than plain texts. Visuals inspire audiences to take action and hence, they are fantastic marketing tools. I mean, think about it for a minute. What do you prefer? A radio commercial that you can hear, or a Televised commercial where you get to see the product or service they are pitching for? Of course, the latter one will carry more element of trust than the former. Want real-life visual storytelling examples? This concept is further strengthened when Snapchat, Instagram, Vine and Pinterest are designed around visuals. In fact, even the Twitter and Facebook posts with video and graphics are more ‘liked’ and shared compared to posts with plain texts.

  • Visual storytelling helps understanding complex data efficiently by delivering more impact as the result
  • Visual data provide a narrative that is more compelling and drives the audience to take actions
  • The concept incorporates excellent writing, vibrant visuals that bring life to the entire atmosphere of the story

The average time spent on a Shorthand story in 2016 was 18 minutes, and more than half the traffic to Shorthand stories comes from mobile devices – proving that even on smaller screens there is an appetite, and attention span for more visual, engaging storytelling. (Source)

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Source: The Rising Power of Visual Content

Never ask too much from your readers. They do like to scroll and viewing a data that requires multiple clicks and broadened exploration can make their engagement faulty and complicated.

Giles Wilson, creative director of the Harpoons Production and the ex editor for BBC News Magazine, said,

“Don’t make me click about the page. If you insist that I have to make more than one click, don’t make me move my mouse as well. I want all my clicks in the same place…”

Here are some incredible visual storytelling techniques & trends that you must know as a designer

1. Instead of telling, show them what you got

This is, in fact, the very 1st lesson for any class of journalism, filmmaking and creative writing. Don’t tell your audience what you are trying to say, instead, let your creativity do the talking, LOUDLY! Take help of the descriptive texts, vivid pictures or eye-catching designs. For example, in this picture

visual-storytelling

A cup of coffee represents the expertise of the company, and the text talks about one of their expertise that is delivered on time!

When you are pitching a product, never tell your customer how it works when you can showcase how they can use it.

2. Make sure your 1st impressions are impactful

In the case of visual storytelling, 1st impressions play a crucial role in marketing. The brain is made in such a way that it can make a quick impression. Our psyches formed instinctive impressions based on our deep-rooted values, beliefs and knowledge. In the digital marketing world, it does not take time for the audience to generate a wrong idea. If they do not understand design in the first place or get bored, then they will immediately skip investing their time in it. It just takes a moment for them to deem a product as unworthy. What should be the case is presenting an incredible design that comes with the power of hooking the audience at the 1st glance itself. The message should be hitting their  emotions right. Remember, an image of an angry young man will get lesser attention than the picture of a chubby puppy.

3. Animate your story, because we all love them!

Remember the best part of childhood? Yes…the colorful stories that came in the form of storybook pictures and animated cartoons. Every day, we used  to read them or watch them with undivided attention and gradually became ardent followers of the characters that we loved. In digital marketing, other than images, there need to be videos as well, and by video, it does not hint at the full-length 30 minute stories. Even gifs can do the job just right. Today, more and more digital marketers are adding the power of animation and mobility to their visual storytelling tactics by incorporating special effects of software and online aids. At the point, where the brain grows bored with the content, animated impacts can capture and retain the attention of the onlooker for a long time.

Lead_Nurturing_GIF

4. There is a beginning, middle and an end to every story

The beginning, the middle and the end- together make the narrative arc. If your storytelling techniques are not based on this arc, then you are sure to fail miserably on your marketing objectives. A design remains flat when there is no proper infusion of the above-mentioned  elements on it. This was 1st discussed by Aristotle a thousand years ago, where it was described as the timeline through which a character travels from point A to point B. You might be thinking that how a static image can be based on the similar guideline. So, for that, when you are choosing imagery to create a visual story and creating graphics, it is crucial to keep each of the aspects in mind for impressing the correlating moods of the audience. Every story needs to have a closure; otherwise, the viewers will be left with confused on the design’s primary purpose.

5. Show them some conflict, address their issue and your job is half done!

Without addressing some issues of the audience, it is not possible for a designer to achieve success in his or her storytelling objectives. The visual storytelling techniques work only when the audience can relate to the design that is portrayed in front of them. This design has to have a solution which will make it attractive to the customer, and then they answer the design’s call-to-action.

6. Include some human elements in your designs

Humans are social animals. There is no better way to entice their engagement on to your design by implementing the ‘people’ factor in your product or service. If you tell the story of business by highlighting the people behind it, that business will automatically generate a sense of trustworthiness in the minds of the audience. Foster the sense of trust in favor of your brand while telling stories to your audience. No matter what the medium is, even a stock photo with the human face can have the power of speaking for your brand.

no-tobacco-day-infographic

7. Teach, preach and tell your audience what they don’t know

Is the product that you or your client dealing with something new to the ordinary people? Then this is indeed a fabulous advantage that you can take. Design your product with the best elements that can convey the story of your brand aptly. Weave the story with the challenges that your audiences face, and then introduce your product. For the conclusion, give your story a practical conclusion by telling them how your product can be their perfect assistant and also call them to take action.

8. Include some eye-candies for your people

Ever heard of gifographics? They are infographics infused with animated elements that convey the brand message to the readers. And of course, the readers love to look at them for their attractiveness. Every visual storytelling ideas must have the ‘wow’ factor in them so that the audience’s imagination is inspired.

9. Never lose the focus on your message

Messaging is equally important as the designs. Even if you create the most striking image of all times, your branding will have no meaning if the messaging is not done right and also, relevant. Audiences are always looking at something creative. Always! However, if that original design lacks messaging, then the strategy of getting their attention will fall out of the place. It will not work. Don’t stretch it too far. Make it stay on the point.

10. Seek the help of professionals who know how to weave a story

Professional touch is perhaps the best element that you can infuse into your marketing strategies. Visual storytelling comes with challenges that need innate knowledge and expertise to be met. This is something that you should never consider doing as a DIY project. Certified professionals know what works the best for business. They research on a company’s target market and plan the digital assets, the visual stories accordingly. Be it static images or videos for marketing; a professional agency knows it all.

To wrap up

The key is to know your audience’s emotions and desires. Hijack the trend from your sector or provide them food for thought; whatever you want to say, must have a great story through which people can find what they are looking for, or what you want to tell them. Of course, increasing the ROI is a part of it, but that also can be achieved with a proper way of portraying your business message. Visual storytelling is an excellent way for the designers to learn more about creating for people, on the internet and spreading the brand name most spectacularly.

 

Data Visualization Best Practices and Principles Every Designer Should Know

Data Visualization Best Practices and Principles Every Designer Should Know

Today with the advancement of technology, we have access to a significant amount of data. And eventually, this data has been growing increasingly complex every year. The real problem starts when we fail to manage this considerable data resource and cannot use them in the right way. Hence, to solve this problem faced by companies today, industry experts have developed the idea of data visualization. Presenting data in pictorial forms (charts or graphs) has become fundamentally important for all of us. But the work is tricky and we need data visualization best practices for effective data management.

What is Data Visualization

With the growing importance of visual communication, data visualization has captured every heart. This type of visual communication allows us to create, study and share data in a graphical manner so that the viewer can understand complex information according to its relevance and priority. Data graphic enables us to represent numbers by charts and various images for impactful information dissemination.

Why Data Visualization is Important

The human brain processes information quickly when it is presented using charts or graphs. So, in this fast moving age, it has become imperative to show complex data and report through graphs and charts. Through innovative data visualization, a company can convey concepts quickly and easily. So, every marketer today is turning into creating data visualization infographics and the like. Of all marketing and communication tools, data visualization is one of the proven tools to bridge the communication gap between the business and its audience.

Take a look at some of the benefits of data visualization.

  • Helps you identify areas that need attention or improvement
  • Enables you to clarify factors influencing customer behavior
  • Allows you to understand where to place which products
  • Allows you to predict sales volumes

We have listed a few data visualization best practices for you here. Following the data visualization best practices 2018 you will be able to pull off an enormous amount of data into a finite space and communicate accurately with your audience.

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Mentioned below are 5 Data Visualization best practices and principles every designer should know:

1. Use Prominent Visuals To Direct Audience Attention

Data visualization can be impactful only if you give justified prominence to the visual elements. As data visualization is about different types of charts and graphs, it’s really tricky to identify which types are best for presenting the visualizing data. Hence considering visual salience is essential. According to data visualization principles, if you make a visual element stand out against its surroundings, viewers would understand the importance of the message conveyed. Highlight essential details with visible variables like color and size. Focus on color schemes and use colors to appeal to the viewer’s eyes.

2. Emphasize on Designing for Mobile

Mobile-first indexing is one of the vital factors today if you want to stay ahead of your competitors. Google has rolled out this feature which means your site should be mobile-friendly. Hence plan to incorporate charts and graphs to leverage compelling mobile viewing.

We have collected a few mobile design tips for you. Take a look below.

  • Contrast Plays a Crucial Role in Your Design

Create graphs and charts with contrasting colors for the background. This way you can present you viewers with detailed information.

  • Use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for Images to Look Great

Cascading style sheets help you to create images that are visually appealing whether in a desktop or mobile device. CSS is a proven app that allows you to customize how things look for each device without having to change the underlying HTML code.

  • Considering Optimizing Images from the Beginning

Optimizing images is a tricky job so, relying only on CSS to resize large photos would not suffice. You need to focus on optimizing for speed even before uploading your pictures.

  • Ensure Mobile Chart Designs are from Top Left To Bottom Right

In a mobile chart design, the most critical information should be on the top left. Along with it, there should be appropriate color coding.

3. Balance Complex Design Elements To Render Clarity

The human eye processes visual attributes that are easily decipherable. According to the Gestalt principles, we can recognize those messages quickly that are prominent in our perception. The perception becomes prominent when we include visual properties like – color, form, movement (which provides for continuity), spatial positioning etc. However, the primary purpose of Gestalt principles is to create an orderly image so that humans can gain meaningful perceptions amidst disorders. Hence, while creating the data visualization, you need to balance all these elements in the right way. Needless to say, visual properties would make your presentation magnetic. The goal is to arrange the visual elements like shape, color, negative space and texture equally throughout the design. Experts suggest several ways how you can create balance in the visual elements to render clarity of the information conferred.

Following are the two different types of balance all the design elements-

  • Symmetrical: Create visuals incorporating all design elements equally on all sides.
  • Asymmetrical: Make a visual presentation where both sides are different, yet the picture have a visual weight.

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4. Use Effective Tools To Arrange a Huge Set of Analyzable Data

Data visualization consists of varied and complex information and features charts, graphs, infographics, videos and also modern elements like virtual reality and augmented reality. Undeniably managing this data are more than challenging. Hence you need specific tools to bring all these data together and present in a meaningful way to your clients. Take a look at some of the most preferred data visualization tools which are available as free as well as in paid versions-

Tableau

Tableau is one of the renowned software that handles typical significant data operations efficiently. Tableau boasts of having advanced database solutions to deal with artificial intelligence and machine-learning applications. Industry experts consider Tableau a proven and useful tool to produce visuals and graphics providing a new edge to the data visualization.

Highcharts

Highcharts is another essential tool that can assist you in creating the best data visualization. It is preferred by many because it offers quick and flexible solutions. The tool has unique features and that is the reason why users find it useful than that of its competitors. The tool offers cross-browser support, according to this feature; anyone can access and run this visualization.

Plotly

Building Data Visualization involves a lot of effort. But when there’s a tool like Plotly, your task becomes easier. It is a tool that enables you to produce more polished and complicated visualizations. Using Plotly, you can generate more polished and intricate visualizations. The tool integrates Python, R, Matlab and other similar analytics-related programming languages.

Domo Review

Domo is a great tool to connect the widest data set and deliver a unique social collaboration. Domo is a business management tool that integrates with multiple data sources, including social media, spreadsheets, databases etc.

5. Keep Data Arranged and Consistent

While compiling and presenting a big set of data, it’s necessary that you maintain consistency. A coherent design makes it easily decipherable. It’s ideal to create a hierarchy of data relevantly showing the various data points. Data visualization analysis reports that if you arrange data from highest to lowest order and emphasize the largest values. You can easily display a category that is more important to users in a prominent way.

Your Turn

Data visualization is about communicating a data set clearly to the target audience with the help of graphics. People nowadays understand complicated information when they are presented through visual presentations. Hence to present the best visualizations and easily comprehendible data follow the above principles and best practices. Needless to say, you would be able to represent complex information in a simplified way to make it genuinely useful to your audience.

Infographic Design Team helps you to create one of the best data visualizations for your target audience. We have talented graphic designers who assist you in the presenting the right data and deliver to you an excellent piece of work that your target client cannot avoid noticing and getting allured to.