Does data excite you? Butterflies in your belly at the sight of a juicy number? If your answer is yes, you’re in a distinct minority. Enjoy your data science. Most people require a bit more contextualization for data to get their heart pounding. What kind of contextualization? Color, engaging fonts and clear layouts go far. Let’s explore the communicative world of infographic animations, which set out to animate and entertain with data and knowledge. 

What is Infographic Animation? 

Animated infographics take images, illustrations, graphs, and fonts and set them in motion using animation techniques. This way, data comes to life in front of your audience’s eyes with the click of a mouse. This type of explainer video is beneficial when it comes to relaying numerical information clearly and concisely.

Important side note, infographic animation is not always in video form. Some of the most eye-catching ones are GIF loops that catch the audience’s eyes and make them linger on important information. This is why they’re often referred to as GIFographics. Stop rolling your eyes at the new word coinage for a second and picture the scene. You’re flying through web pages looking for information, your eyes glaze over, you’re hardly taking on anything new. Then you see something move out of the corner of your eye while on a wild scrolling mission. You can’t help but stop and read. That is what infographic animation relies on for maximum effectiveness. 

Infographics as we know them date back to the late 1700s when charts illustrated wheat prices and more or less fair labor wages. At its most simple, an infographic is an image that lays out information visually. When we look at that definition, even maps could be considered infographics, making trusty Google maps an infographic animation. 

Infographic Animation Characteristics 

Animated infographics can vary as much as a piece of string can vary in length. Still, there are specific characteristics that this type of explainer video tends to have across the board:

  • Short and Sweet: The average length of the top 100 videos found on social media giant Tik Tok is 15.6 seconds. Human attention spans are short, but as long as your infographic animation video is under 90 seconds, you’re on the sweet side of short. 
  • Classical Narrative Form: Okay, Coppola, this isn’t the time to get experimental with your video. Keep it simple by following a classical narrative structure. That means you’ll be exploring the what, the how, and the why, ideally, in that order. 
  • Establish Audience Need: The best way to speak to your audience is to make sure your animated infographic is here to solve a problem or need your audience has. For example, suppose your audience is parents of high school-age students. In that case, your infographic animation will establish how your school has been getting the best results for college and teenager’s mental health. That speaks to any parent worrying about their anxious teenager not achieving their goals. 
  • Brand Recognition: Since you only have 90 seconds or less to make an impact, you don’t have time to attach your message to your brand in any other way than using your brand’s logos and colors. Is your product doing loads for corporate social responsibility? That will stay attached to the colors used in the video next time your consumer goes to pick out a carton of juice. 

Where can Infographic Animations Be Used? 

Whether or not something is suitable with being turned into an infographic animation has more to do with the purpose of the information than the information itself. These are some of the most common uses of animated infographics. 

Maps: We talked about them as the original infographic earlier, but if you’ve got data that needs to be linked to a specific location, using an animated map to illustrate your point is powerful. 

How-Tos: Got a new software that needs a process walk-through attached to it? Instead of screen capping individual steps and sending them out in an email guide (if you’ve ever worked in a corporate environment, you’ve received plenty of these), consider using an infographic animation that highlights directional cues. 

Comparisons: Picture this like an adult version of spot the difference pictures. Perhaps you have two very similar products and need to highlight precisely where they are different from one another. Add some animation to highlight each product’s uniqueness. 

Data: These aren’t the advertising agency Venn diagrams and pie charts of the 1960s. Animated infographics can make data come to life. Literally. 

Timelines: As helpful as these are when it comes to showing off chronological information, the essential points can quickly become lost. Make use of animation to draw the viewer’s eye. Got new management in a generations-old company? This is an excellent way to drive that point home.

Advantages of Infographic Animation

  • Easy to Scan: modern consumers tend to scan through websites like the speed of light. Animated infographics allow them to quickly get the necessary information and pick it out faster than a static image or wall of text. 
  • Better recall: infographic animation has better information assimilation associated with it than static images. 
  • Shareable: Since it’s so much easier to share an animated infographic on social media than share a specific link that those who are more click shy won’t enjoy, infographic animations are a marketer’s dream. 

Disadvantages of Infographic Animation

  • Misunderstanding: A lack of clarity in an infographic animation can lead to misunderstandings that will backfire against the brand. 
  • Wrong Chart: Not all charts are the best way to represent data. Beware of using pie charts where bar charts are better suited and vice versa. 
  • Beware of TMI: Try not to overwhelm your audience with information. You have a lot to say, but if you pack in too much, you may end up saying nothing at all. 

Infographic animation is a new spin on an old tool. The combination of this means a lot of potential for future use and innovation. This is one trick up your sleeve that won’t go out of style anytime soon.