Teachers and educators have always used comparison as an effective teaching method. According to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, comparing and contrasting works by fostering ‘alignment’ between two objects or topics and highlighting important similarities and differences.
Remember the golden years where your pre-school teacher would use comparison to show you the differences between the sea and mountains? I bet that method became ingrained in your head.
A 2013 study by Louis Alfieri published on Educational Psychologist suggested that case comparison activities commonly led to greater learning outcomes over other forms of case study including sequential, single case, and non-analogous, as well as traditional instruction.
Today, we are going to learn how to take advantage of this concept and apply it to design an excellent educational infographic.
What Is The Comparison Infographic Layout For?
Infographics are a super versatile tool for teaching, learning, promoting or engaging readers, and a ‘versus infographic’ is no exception!
There are plenty of situations where you can use this style. If you are a marketer, journalist or content writer, these 3 ideas will get you thinking about how you can apply it to your work.
- If your strategy has changed in any way, you could do a ‘What We Did Back Then vs. What We Do Now’. For instance, if you redesigned your landing page and increased conversion, you could show your team or leadership what happened using a side by side comparison.
- Comparisons are great when people need to quickly grasp new concepts – for instance, during leadership training, you could compare two styles of leaderships like ‘being a boss’ vs ‘being an inspiring leader’.
- You could use a ‘versus’ infographic to sell your unique value proposition, and contrast it against the competition. If you are an HR services company pitching your idea to a potential client, you could compare doing HR in house vs outsourcing it, by highlighting its benefits in an infographic.
Also, if you’re a teacher, a comparison infographic can be an innovative way to educate students. For instance:
- You could compare two historical figures or book characters, like Napoleon vs. Alexander The Great.
- When teaching a language class, you could compare two different language structures. For instance, English grammar vs. Spanish grammar.
- If it’s an art class, a great idea is comparing two styles of painting – impressionism vs. expressionism.
It could even be a cool assignment to have students create their own comparison infographics!
How to Build a Successful Comparison/Versus Infographic
Now that we know when a comparison infographic is effective, it’s time we learn how to design one from scratch.
To start, there are two main aspects when planning a comparison infographic. One is preparing the correct data, and the second one is thinking of the design aspects that will help you visualize the comparison.
Have your Data Ready
As with every type of infographic, you will need to do some prep work, and have your data in advance before moving on to design.
Start by doing some Google research on the two different topics you are comparing. Read articles and books, check out other infographics, or interview experts. Afterwards, you should:
- Prepare 3-5 bullet points summarizing your topic.
- Choose your core data. This means picking 4-6 essential points worth comparing.
- Make sure you are comparing apples with apples and oranges with oranges. Make sure you use the same metrics and type of data between the two topics (i.e. percentages with percentages, numbers with numbers and facts with facts).
This process is the foundation of your design. If you don’t take the time to go through it and verify consistency, your infographic will be noisy, cluttered and unclear.
Let’s take a quick look at this infographic comparing the number of restaurants in two major cities – Paris and London. First, you should note that it’s comparing similarly sized cities, not Paris vs. Nantes. Second, it’s comparing apples to apples – the number of Michelin starred restaurants and the total number of restaurants.
The second example compares an interview at Facebook vs. an interview at Google, and puts emphasis on two main points: what not to say, and which famous celebrities visited their campus.
Pay Attention to Basic Design Rules
Once you’ve chosen your data, it’s time to move on to the design. Piktochart has very useful templates for comparison infographics. Login to your Piktochart account, and once you start searching for a template, type queries like:
- tea vs. coffee.
- traditional vs. digital marketing.
- do’s and don’ts of infographics.
- diabetes type 1 vs. type 2.
Once you select a template, the real magic begins. For this post, we’ll pick the ‘Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing’ template.
1 – Start by comparing things side by side to make it easier on the eye. Whether it’s two or three elements, you should everything symmetrical.
2 – Obsess over alignment . Make sure your elements are correctly centered and aligned, and on the same level.
3 – Create a clear division using two different colors. In order to keep it clean and minimalistic, you can choose darker or lighter shades of color. In our template, we used two different shades of blue, but you can also use two contrasting colors, like tones of red and blue. If you aren’t sure which colors to pick, this post might guide you!
4 – Always stay consistent using the same kind of elements. We’ve covered this in the past, but look at the example below: the first version shows the correct usage of the same fonts and same style icons, while in the second one we chose different fonts and inconsistent icons. The difference is subtle yet meaningful. One is simple, clean and pleasing, and the other one looks messy.
Two quick Pikto tips: First, icons that share the same style are usually grouped together under categories. Second, use the same Text Frame for each side, this way you’ll make sure your design stays consistent
5 – Finally, use the same structure for side by side comparisons for titles, icons, text, etc. When comparing apple with apples, it’s important to keep the consistency between both sides to demonstrate that it’s a comparison. The example below is a perfect portrayal.
Bonus Inspiration: Best Comparison Infographics of the Web
If you are still wondering ‘what an amazing comparison infographic looks like?’ – well, we’ve got you covered.
We spent some time searching the web for three of the most amazing ‘versus’ infographics out there. Check them out!
London vs. Paris
Michael Jordan vs. Kobe Bryant vs. Lebron James