Make sure you have good data before moving too far down the design path. You can’t depend on hoped-for numbers becoming available later — a survey may come back that disproves your hypothesis, regulatory or privacy concerns may prevent you from sharing certain facts, or you may discover that you simply can’t find the source of a stat you found on the internet. Don’t leave anything to chance. Even the most impactful visuals will fall flat if your numbers are incorrect.
Before launching into building the individual parts (charts, graphs, icons, and images) that will comprise your infographic, start by sketching ideas for your overall composition.
This process can, and often should, be literal. Draw out rough sketches of your infographic. Many designers prefer to work with pencil and paper, or to use tools like Adobe Photoshop Sketch or Adobe Fresco on their tablets, to quickly work through several ideas. Trying out different schemes can help you determine hierarchy, balance, and the flow of the design.
Next, think about the best way to visualize your data. Line charts are effective at showing changes over time. Columns work for comparing two sets of data over time. If you’re comparing several items, a horizontal bar chart may be easiest to read. Finally, the trusty pie chart is great for displaying percentages. Leave out anything that doesn’t help tell the story, or that might get in the way of quick comprehension.