Simplifying the Complex

In the words of Hans Hoffman, “Design is the intermediary between information and understanding.” If your audience can’t quickly understand the information you’re sharing, they’ll tune out. The complexity of highly technical or scientific documents makes it especially challenging for laypeople, but design adjustments can help convey your message.

Here are a few tips and resources I have found helpful in understanding best practices and developing creative ways to demonstrate the complex:

Use Infographics

Present complex information like data points, statistics, and research findings with easy-to-understand infographics. When it comes to marketing, less is more. A short, sweet infographic is always more effective than a boatload of words. Edward Tufte’s book, Envisioning Information, is a great resource to get you started.

Minimize Technical Jargon

Use layperson’s terms and visual representations wherever possible. Try working with graphic designers who are comfy with technical jargon and complex data. Creatives can develop unexpectedly clear, compelling ways to share your message and information.

Simplify Charts and Graphs

Use color coding and straightforward messaging to simplify charts and graphs. Ensure all symbols and axes are labeled and only essential data is displayed. Check out The Visual Display of Quantitative Information for an excellent guide to creating effective charts and graphs that reflect industry standards and design best practices. 

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