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Use Infographics to improve Usability

On Thursday I went along to an interesting talk given by Robin Richards for UX Oxford on Infographics. He spoke about how they can be constructed to tell a story and how they can transform otherwise lack-lustre data. But it got me thinking how other information on the web can be transformed.

People don’t tend to read chunks of text online, instead we generally like to scan web pages picking up images, headings and call-to-actions. But sometimes you still need some text to help those who want a bit more information. It’s also pretty good for SEO.

If we start to think more about how we organise text content within a web page then we might be able to come up with better compromises that keep the UX designer, CRO and SEO experts happy! In a nutshell we just need to transform boring text content into something that communicates the same message in a different way. This should help enhance the overall user experience and encourage visitors to stay on the site.

I used this approach recently when trying to organise the services of a client’s business into an easy to comprehend structure:

ideasfirstinfographic

It would have been easy to display the content in 6 regular blocks with text and call to actions (a pretty common format), but after consultation with my client I learned that each service is a ‘step’ in the process so it made sense to come up with a more unique design to help convey this to site visitors for them to quickly and easily understand the business.

There are so many other instances where it’s worth considering breaking away from the ‘expected’. It’s worth exploring ideas with the client and seeing how you might be able to create a story of sorts.

Another great example that spans both online and offline format are restaurant menus. I often get bored reading menus and just skim them. I might be alone in this! But if I were presented with a more graphically ‘suped-up’ version or the content was broken down some other way it might be a much more pleasant experience choosing dinner!

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