Design

Infographic Layout: Storytelling With Roadmaps

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We’ve said it before, and we’ll keep saying it: stories move people. Everyone loves stories. Think of all the books we read, TV shows we watch and films we see. Since the dark ages, we have been sharing stories with each other because it’s the only way of passing information from one generation to another. It’s biologically programmed in our brains.

This means stories are appealing to people and are more likely to be remembered over facts and figures. For these reasons, marketers have been using storytelling for decades to attract customers and encourage interaction with brands.

You might think ‘brand storytelling’ is just a fancy way of saying content marketing. It’s not. We are living in a digital age where subpar content is published every day. Brand storytelling is the lifesaver that will make your brand shine.

But it isn’t only about the story. Every story needs a delivery method or a channel to reach an audience. No matter how good the story is, if it’s being told by Hodor from Game of Thrones, it wouldn’t matter much.

One of the best delivery methods for a story is an infographic. They are visual, memorable and easy to consume. People love them. Thus, in today’s piece we are going to teach you how to tell a memorable story with the Roadmaps layout!

How To Save Money Infographic

3 Ideas to Use the Roadmap Infographic Layout

Stories are sequence of events happening, in most cases, chronologically. Thus, the Roadmap infographic layout is an ideal tool for storytelling, as it explains a journey or a process step by step.

While there are several things you could do with this layout, I want to concentrate on three different idea:

Portray a journey to success. People are often intrigued and curious about success, and how other people ‘made it’. A great idea is to show someone’s complete path from ‘rags to riches’, like this Steve Jobs infographic. Start by picking a thought leader of your industry and portray his professional journey. You can always do the same for your company – show your clients how your business started and how it went became what it is today. This can even turn into your About Us page!

Explain how stuff works. Roadmaps are perfect to explain how things work. Whether it’s your product or a social media contest you’re running, you can guide people through the process of how it works using a roadmap. If you are looking for a suitable Piktochart template, How to Save Money is the perfect one.  

Visualize step-by-step instructions. Roadmaps are ideal for step-by-step instructions. For instance, if social media marketers are your target audience, you can create a step-by-step roadmap infographic on how to create a perfect Twitter post. If you are a real estate agency, you might create one explaining how to go about spring cleaning efficiently. If you’re a teacher, explain your students steps on how to get the best grade in your class. The best Piktochart templates for this are Flowchart Guide or Content Marketing Machine.

The Mise-En-Place: Preparing for the Roadmap Layout

In the previous post, Layout #3, we talked about the french concept mise-en-place, which means ‘putting in place’. This will come up often because every time you need to do any design work, specially infographics, you will need to do some prep work beforehand. This will allow you to have the best possible information at hand when you need it, which guarantees a fantastic end result.

1 –  Prepare your storyline. Grab the good old pen and paper, and draw a quick outline of all steps.

2 – Think about the beginning and the end of your story. The starting point should easily draw people’s attention while the ending will be your conclusion – emphasize on both!

3 – Pick the highlights of the story. Don’t focus on too much detail, but rather on an overview and make those important points stand out.

4 – Choose the right way to visualize your journey. If it’s instructions and explaining how stuff works – use numbers and steps. If you need to portray someone else’s journey, go from the beginning to now using dates, arrows and lines to steer people in the right direction!

Designer Tips – What to Remember When Designing a Roadmap

We know designing an infographic roadmap isn’t easy. That’s why we talked with our fantastic design team. They will give you the most important ‘Do’s’ and ‘Dont’s’ of designing a roadmap.

Let’s see.

The Do’s – Or Things To Imitate

The Roadmap Toolkit. The elements you will be using the most in the roadmap infographics are icons, texts and text frames, arrows, and all kinds of lines and numbers. These are super important, as they guide the reader through the content, and indicate what goes first. Below you’ll find a visual toolkit with a few options for each element.

Roadmap Toolkit

Be mindful about the direction of the roadmap. The idea behind this design is to guide people through your story so you need to make it clear where a reader should begin and finish. If the direction isn’t clear, you can add numbers or arrows, as explained above.

Flow

Emphasize on steps. If you are trying to portray steps, make the numbering as clear as possible. For instance, by adding a circular shape behind the number, icon or date.

Emphasize on steps

Don’t’s – Or Things To Avoid

Avoid big chunks of data. A roadmap layout is meant to visualize a process or steps, so if you have lots of data (stats, numbers), it’s best to avoid the roadmap layout and use one meant for visualizing numbers.

Go icons! Photos are not ideal for roadmaps so it’s best to focus on icons. Piktochart has a huge library with thousands of free icons you can choose from.

How to Use the Roadmap Template in 2 Different Ways

Any roadmap template can be used in several different ways. For this post, we decided to go with our own Template –  How to Save Money – and show you how each layout applies to different situations.

The Minimalist Approach. This layout can be used to portray steps, progress or even a timeline. It’s the ‘safest approach’, as it’s a more simplistic approach s. It only uses icons, summarized content or a quick description of each icon, but it’s perfect for showing a lot of steps (like 9 or 12). In most situations, an arrow or some design element indicates the flow of the design.

Minimalist Approach to How To Save Money Infographic

The Detailed Approach. This layout is used to portray steps or progress, as it allows designers to include more content. It has slightly longer descriptions and each point is visualized separately. It’s perfect for someone who has less points but wants to emphasize content. A great tip is to number each step, so it’s easy to follow.

Step by Step How to Save Money Infographic

This post is part of September’s Layout Series. Feel free to check it out!

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