We perceive the world through our senses and these sensory stimuli are interpreted in a context based on our knowledge and previous experience.[1]

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Visualized information has three key benefits:

  1. Engages readers

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2. Increases/facilitates comprehension:

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3. improves recall, rentention and association of information.

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Depth of processing is a design principle that facilitates the three above steps as well. “Depth of processing is improved through use of multiple presentation media and learning activities that engage learners in elaborative rehearsal”.[3] Shallow level of processing involves use of text only to convey the message, while a combination of text and images provide a deeper level of processing, with a deepest level enabled by use of text, images and questions which will require concentration and effort rather than just exposure.[4]  This is key when developing e-learning materials.

Infographics are an example of a way to convey large amounts of information/data by making use of minimal words and relying on colour, typeface, imagery and symbols to bring together words and pictures to tell a story. In less time that it would take to read through the same information in text paragraphs format, information is communicated in minutes.  An example of this is an infographic on infographics which communicates a large amount of information and statitics visually in about one minute. (How long did it take for you to take it all in? There is a timer count at the bottom that tells you how long you were viewing the piece.) [5]

Infographic resumes have gained some interest with job seekers as a creative way to present their qualifications and skills.  While this will not be for everyone and it has not really taken off with employers asking for applications in this format, it is another example of communicating visually large amounts of information and focusing in what really matters to a prospective employer.

[3] Lidwell, Holden, Butler, “Universal principles of design”, pg. 72

[4] Ibid