I don’t like to read these days
Lately, I’ve noticed that my brain is set to accept only about 140 characters at one time, then I have to click back to my inbox and sort through the rest of my email. I would rather use the phone to discuss business, but I think I’m alone in my ancient ritual. Several people at work send emails with as many as 500 characters, even 1000 with no images, graphs or pie charts! I am definitely finding the 21st Century tedious. Fortunately, there is a scientific reason for my word challenges.
According to Mark Smiciklas, author of The Power of Infographics, “Each letter in a word is essentially a symbol. To read text, the brain needs to act as a decoder first, matching those letters with shapes stored in memory. From there the brain must figure out how all the letters fit together to form words, how words form sentences, and how sentences form paragraphs. Although all this comprehension takes place in only a split second, relatively speaking, when compared to how the brain deals with images, the process requires considerably more mental effort.”
Conversely, the brain processes images all at once and not linearly, making images much easier to consume. In 2011, Richard Alleyne, The Telegraph’s Science Correspondent cited a study from the University of Southern California that found the average person’s information consumption grew five times between 1986 and 2011. Worse, who do you think created that blizzard of data? Us!
We create texts, emails, tweets, posts and more. Today, content is no longer king; it now has an equal partner – a queen that is graphics, color and images. Together, they are the most powerful couple in the world.
Let me know when you catch up. We’re pushing 280 words, over 1300 characters.
Why do people like good infographics? Why is it that we just can’t get enough of infographic examples? I don’t have stats specifically on personal tastes, but I can give you some facts about infographics from email company, Unbounce:
Search for “Infographics” over the past two years has grown 800%!
Publishers who use infographics grow their site traffic an average of 12% more than those who don’t.
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