Infographics: Content for the Eight Second Attention Span
One of the reasons we now have a shorter attention span than a gold fish might have something to do with the fact that in 2013 our brain receives five times the amount of information per day than it did in 1986. It’s tough out there with all those information channels yelling at us at once. And because of that, you’ve got eight seconds, pal. Your time starts now…
Short attention spans are the new reality
Whether we bemoan the goldfish metric or not, (and to make us feel better, gold fish actually come in at nine seconds) accepting it as a reality helps us better understand how we can successfully engage people in eight seconds to communicate complex stuff. Adding to that challenge is data pointing to somewhere between 20 – 28% as the average amount a user will actually read on a web page!
Visual thinking comes of Age
And here’s the thing. If half of our brain is devoted to visual thinking,then why aren’t we focusing 50% of our communication strategies to that large chunk of the brain’s ability to process visual cues? Sure, we can keep pumping out more and more text, but ignoring the fact that visual thinking is just as important, maybe even more so in this new eight second frontier we’ve reached is, well…not thinking smart. Except those guys at IKEA – they’ve had the goods on visual content for years – when was the last time you read any instructions from IKEA?
Infographics make learning easier because they’re fun!
Let’s face it – infographics are pretty cool – and good ones are even awesome. And they engage people. 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text – just ask the publishers who use infographics – they see a growth in traffic an average of 12% more than those who don’t use infographics.
Don’t just take our word for it! Infographics have an impressive growth story
An 800% increase in infographic searches on Google in a little over two years is a compelling argument for: 1. Visual content and 2, Visual content in the form of infographics. They’re an important part of any content strategy because they make stuff ranging from cheese to population growth of native bats absolutely interesting.
Are infographics a fad?
We don’t think so. Infographics are here to stay – and when you think about it, they’ve been around for ages anyhow. Those visual inflight instruction cards on what to do in the event of an airborne disaster have been around as long as…well airborne disasters. Like most awesome stuff, infographics will evolve too – we’ll see them a lot more in mainstream media, especially online reporting, and they are increasingly being used internally by businesses – if you’re lucky, you won’t be bored to death by 50 page reports in those monthly meetings anymore.
And one more thing. If you’ve got this far reading, well done, you may be an exception to the eight second rule. But if you struggled, maybe you’d prefer the visual version of this story below.
awesome brain image by TZA @Flickr