So you conducted a kick-ass survey and now you just need to communicate your findings to your audience. Don’t waste your reader’s time by forcing them to scroll through pages of irrelevant responses. It’s your job to look through the responses, sort the answers, spot trends, and create a visual report that they can easily digest. Here are 11 tips to ensure your message isn’t lost in the data.
1) Organize data in a logical order
Just because you received the data in a jumbled order doesn’t mean that’s how you should present it. Figure out your message and present your data in a way that will make comprehension easiest.
2) Give it context
Organizing your data into a chart will definitely aid your viewers, but sometimes you’ll need more than that. Be sure to provide the necessary context for your data so the audience gets the full perspective.
3) Keep it simple
As with any other design project, you want design to enhance comprehension—not distract. Excess design aspects or unnecessary elements can obstruct your message.
4) Don’t omit pertinent information
When visualizing survey results, there’s a delicate balancing act taking place. Although you want to keep your chart looking clean, don’t leave out necessary information for the sake of simplicity.
5) Choose the right chart
Picking the wrong chart can muddle your data’s message, so make sure you choose not just the correct chart but the best chart. A line chart might not communicate your message as effectively as a bar chart. Or maybe you need a stacked bar chart, rather than a grouped one. For more help choosing the right chart check out our e-book.
6) Inform the viewer of the margin of error
As with any survey, there is a margin of error. It’s key to communicate that to your viewer for transparency. (This helps build trust.)
7) Make your totals explicitly clear
If you only surveyed 10 people from a pool of thousands, your results could be skewed or inaccurate. Be sure to include totals on your chart.
8) Don’t let design misrepresent data
Keep the color scheme consistent and limited, use visual hierarchy, and avoid effects that will distort your data, such as 3-D or loud colors.
9) Sketch it out
Even if your post is destined for the Internet, it can still be beneficial to sketch it on paper first. Decide what story you’re trying to tell and draw it out. It will act as a roadmap throughout the process.
10) Incorporate interactivity
Sometimes it’s necessary to make your chart interactive when you have massive amounts of data. Instead of one never-ending infographic, present it in an exploratory format.
11) Don’t forget the tooltips
If you opt for an interactive, make sure you provide your viewers the necessary tools and instructions to properly navigate the data.
Do you have awesome data but lack resources to create awesome charts? We can help with that. Check out Visage and start creating content right now.