You might think that making an infographic is a purely creative and artistic endeavor, but that mindset will only get you so far. It is actually a combination of science and art. The science part comes in because infographics must use proven strategies to get people to read, remember, and engage. In fact, those skilled at making good infographics will tell you that it’s essential to have some understanding of human psychology.
A lot of principles from the field of psychology can be very useful in making an infographic. For instance, colors can convey different feelings and emotions to your audience so color choice is critical in the design phase. Different shapes also impart different meanings, and certain formats and orientations deliver varying messages.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of psychological and visual science myths that have trickled down to infographic creation. Here’s a closer look at some of the more prevalent ones:
Different Learning Styles
In past decades, there has been a school of thought that states that different people have different learning styles. Some are more responsive to visual information, some are better learners when they hear information, while others are kinesthetic learners who become more receptive to information taught through movement and sensory integration. But, most of the time, people react to visual information the same way. This means that if you want to make an infographic, you need to focus your attention on the visual attractiveness, continuity, color, and design.
Left and Right Brain
Another popular psychology myth is the left brain-right brain theory. This one states that the left side of the brain controls the logical and analytical aspect of a person while the right side interprets the creative and artistic side of things. The theory asserts that each person has a more dominant side, which explains why some people are more analytical, and others are more creative. While it is true that the brain has certain compartments for specific processes, it doesn’t split the brain into two halves that have different specialties. This means that there is no left or right brain dependent person, so you shouldn’t tailor your infographic to appeal to one or the other.
One of the more popular marketing tips is to briefly show information that insinuates a certain meaning to persuade the subconscious mind to do or believe something. This subliminal messaging is considered, at times, to be more effective than standard marketing methods. People who create infographics tend to put a lot of (unnecessary) thought into this idea when science has proven that it is a myth. Consumers are more likely to purchase something that they have been told directly to buy instead of just something that they thought they saw for a split second. With this knowledge, you can focus on explicitly sharing the content in your infographic. Don’t spend too much of your time trying to insert hidden messages in the hope that you’ll get a good return.
Stick to the facts. While you can’t underestimate the power of psychology in marketing, don’t be drawn in by some of the false psychological theories that have found their way into the industry.