Infographics: A Useful Tool for Technical Writers

Effective infographics can say more with a picture than a thousand words. So how can technical writers use infographics most effectively?

Although we’ve blogged about infographics before in the post Infographics: Information at a Glance, we’ve never applied them specifically to the field of technical documentation.

Great infographics tell stories: they translate raw data into meaningful information for the reader. Technical writers can apply this to infographics in the following ways:

  • A map providing spatial relations between items
  • A diagram showing the relationships of parts to the whole
  • A flow chart connecting pathways between concepts (mind-mapping)
  • An assembly guide revealing how parts fit together

In technical documentation, infographics integrate large chunks of text with appealing visual graphics to support the information provided. The reader can often pull together concepts faster with a visual than by dissecting pages of dense description.

Journalist Alberto Cairo explains infographics as “not just art, but functional art.” For more ideas of how technical writers can include infographics in their documentation, take a look at the article “Infographics – A Special Mode of Technical Communication.”