Bringing Infographics to Georgia.gov, Part 1: Initial Creation

A brick pattern inside a thought bubble.
Caption
A new infographic always starts as just an idea.

This is the first post in a 3-part series on the creation of Georgia.gov’s first infographic.

Infographics have been all the rage for a few years now. What’s the big deal and how can they be used in the government? Well, we at Digital Services Georgia recently brought infographics to the Georgia.gov blog and social media to help our readers understand some information a little better. There were a lot of things to consider before publishing our first infographic back in October, so it might be helpful to take you through some of that.

Establishing Goals

Let’s start at the very beginning (I hear it’s a very good place to start). First, a few of us on the Digital Services Georgia team researched how we could use infographics to best reach our goals. What goals exactly? Well, our purpose for bringing infographics onto Georgia.gov centered around making information easier to grasp. Since 65% of people are visual learners, we decided that infographics could be a useful tool.

Content First

So when we researched infographics, we looked for how they could be used to best display the information. A common thread in the articles we studied focused on putting content first. An infographic is only useful because of the information involved. Design comes second to content, complements the information, and draws conclusions that might be missed in a text-only format.

For our first infographic, we decided to work with types of business structures, a topic that we had recently covered in a blog series. A single graphic could show all 3 business structures discussed in the blogs. So with the content-first approach, we checked back through all of the information in the blogs to see if anything had changed since they were written. We found a few changes, updated the blogs, and started organizing it.

Being the graphic designer, the ball was now in my court.

The Design

To design the graphic, I drew everything uniquely in Adobe Illustrator and arranged it myself. We decided this was the best way to give Georgia.gov infographics a unique look and feel that would be completely customizable for any topic. However, everything didn’t come straight from my own head. I looked at online tools like Venngage and even infographics shared on Pinterest to get layout ideas. I found existing icons online for how things like people and calendars were already being represented and would be easily recognized. While I was at it, I made icons for topics that we might discuss in future infographics. This way, we could maintain consistency despite changes in layouts, colors, and theme.

And so begins the process of bringing infographics to Georgia.gov. We started with a purpose and solid content, and then found a sustainable way to display the information graphically. In my next post, I’ll cover some problems that came up and how we were able to solve them.

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