A wonderful Romanian tale follows the story of a king’s who had three daughters. One day he asked his oldest daughter how much she loved him. Thinking of the sweetest thing in her life, she answered: “like honey“, and the king was very happy.
When the king asked his second daughter the same question, she answered: “like sugar“. The king was overjoyed.
However, when the king asked his little daughter the same question, the answer made him very angry: “I love you like the salt in a dish, dad“.
Sometimes, the ingredients and spices we use for our favourite dishes are surprising. However, in their absence, the dishes become bland, tasteless and ordinary. What is the spice that cannot lack from our visual communication?
Welcome to the wonderful world of tiny graphics, the salt and pepper of your articles, brochures, and presentations. Here is a recipe to start using them. As for dessert, we are going to use the same ingredients to improve your databases and dashboards.
1. Prepare the ingredients—data tables
The data tables are the main ingredient of your graphics. To present the evolution of your sales, of the number of messages handled by your system, or of the number of consultations in a hospital, you first need to do your research. This means a step where you gather data, followed by an analysis and finally a preparation phase before publication.
Data organization is important because some of it will be the main actor of your infographics, while some will serve as background to structure the message. The goal is to create useful graphics to complete your communication, so you should stay focused on its scope.
Select only data related to your topic: chronology, quantity or values, reference or comparison data.
2. Spice-up your articles using tiny graphics
What is the difference between the two articles below? No need to zoom in on the content, the goal is to use the big picture.
You guessed right, they are identical in terms of content. Still, the one on the right side attracts our eyes, these tiny charts are intriguing. Their position, minimal design and content details are as important to convince the reader with specific examples or arguments.
As the chilli spice in a hot black chocolate or the cocoa milk in a curry dish, a chart makes a long article feel complete. But that’s not all it does. Often, whole paragraphs can be replaced by a simple graphic which, while as clear as the text it replaces, is much more attractive and easier to understand.
Still, should you limit the use of chronologies, charts and visual comparisons to articles and other marketing content?
3. Raise the level of your applications and dashboards
Often you can reuse an interesting and impactful graphic in your applications. Let’s take the example of medical records systems. How could we find good charts to integrate into your patient, department or hospital dashboards?
If you take a look at hospital portals you can see quality metrics for their medical service. You can also find statistical evolutions for specific groups of patients in scientific publications, for a syndrome or specific treatments.
You can reuse these already published charts in the electronic medical records. This also helps your teams, who sometimes feel a distance between the public message and the internal analytical possibilities.
It’s not because a nice graphic was published on our website that we have to integrate it into our software dashboards
Almost any “snapshot” infographic presenting indicators at a specific moment in time can be made dynamic and useful by adding a timeline. If an indicator is useful for parents and patients visiting a medical centre’s website, the doctors and nurses working there should also have the possibility to visualize it from their medical records database.
Serve your content in the appropriate context and with the right spices
I discovered the tiny graphics via web design, statistics and medical software applications. You can also use them to complete your articles, presentations, as well as your application dashboards. The recipe is not complicated, it’s only a matter of gathering the needed data, analyze it, then create the graphics to highlight your arguments.
You are maybe wondering whether the king from our story continued savouring the dishes, once his little daughter was sent away? Of course not, the salt was lacking! Don’t take graphics creation as a difficult task, but as an opportunity to provide a better service to your customers.
Welcome to the wonderful world of Tiny Graphics
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