How to Make an Impact When Conveying Complex Info
Twitter. Instagram. YouTube. Snapchat. Today, information is conveyed in bite-sized servings. Sometimes with words. More often with pictures.
Have you noticed how by offering up content in these tiny nuggets, social media has essentially turned us into a nation of impatient readers and viewers who expect immediate engagement?
That doesn’t much matter if you’re looking to communicate a message that’s straightforward.
Simple message = Quick understanding.
But, what if you need to convey complex business information, say results of your groundbreaking, years-long scientific research or detailed specs for your company’s latest precision equipment?
Complex Information Demands Context to Resonate
The trick to conveying highly detailed information well is to provide the necessary context. You can’t just throw facts and figures at your audience and expect people be informed and enthralled.
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how mind-numbing it can be to sit through a 100-slide PowerPoint deck overflowing with charts and numbers but little narrative. Sure, data and statistics certainly add weight and credibility to any presentation but endless tables and graphs can be difficult to quickly grasp.
Want to educate and engage your audience? Yup. Thought so. That means building an emotional connection between your audience and your business.
To do that, you need to tell a great story in a way that’s simple, powerful and visually striking.
Make Complex Information Compelling
Just because information is complicated doesn’t mean it can’t be clear and captivating. Data-journalist and information designer David McCandless, author of Information is Beautiful, is known worldwide for making complex data visually engaging, even entertaining. A quick peek at some of his work and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
What makes him so good at presenting intricate information? He understands a fundamental truth about effective communications: making data visually compelling is the secret sauce for engaging your audience.
Follow the Rules
At ViewPoint we follow three simple rules to present intricate information most effectively:
Here are a few examples that adhere to all three rules.
To build awareness and show how MilliporeSigma, a leading life sciences company, solves complex problems for its customers, we created an interactive, touchable “timeline” using their newly launched, vibrant brand.
ThermoFisher Scientific wanted to showcase a vast catalog of complicated, sensitive products and devices. And they didn’t want it to be a snooze. So, we created an interactive, touch-powered product matrix that shows an overview of each product, as well as indicates whether it’s in full release or the preview stage. If a buyer wants to dive deeper into a specific product, he just needs to touch an on-screen button and additional details pop up.
For cloud automation software developer Embotics, we employed an animated slideshow to tell stories about its customers and how they use and benefit from Embotics' solutions.
For ZOLL Medical Corp., which develops medical devices for resuscitation and acute critical care, we created an animation to show how Zoll’s automated external defibrillator (AED) periodically checks itself, and sends emails and reports.
In every instance, we simplified complex information using powerful visuals and presented the content in a way that clarified the message without watering down the technical source information.
Taking a page from Don Draper's playbook, we made the content simple yet significant.
How do you present complex information?