How Lawyers Can Get the Most Out of Infographics
In the contemporary marketplace, content is the key to successful marketing. However, many legal websites are laden with poorly organized and imposingly dense text.
Alternatives exist to entirely text-based content on a law firm site. Utilizing infographics allows lawyers to effectively communicate with potential clients and cut through the noise by reducing “legalese” into approachable visual diagrams.
Though the graphic design skills needed to visualize and create excellent infographics are uncommon among those in the legal profession, there are many resources for finding inspiration and making truly excellent content.
A Crash Course on Infographics
A lot of terms are thrown around regarding the design and utilization of infographics, many of which have seemingly hazy or changing definitions. This is understandably difficult to tolerate for an attorney.
Let us begin with the fundamentals and work up from there. Beginning with the concept of “information design,” which is the und
erlying concept behind the creation of infographics.
Information design is a subfield of graphic design that specializes in displaying data visually in order to aid comprehension. Much research has found that infographics are an effective tool for communicating technical information.
“Informational graphics” or “Infographics” are visual displays designed utilizing the principles of good information and graphic design. This means scientifically sound visual organization, use of color, and proficient choice of words.
Subway maps are informational graphics, displaying the locations of stops relative to each other along the routes that compose the system. These are different from geological or highway maps only in terms of the information intended to be conveyed.
The design principles, “information design,” underlying the aforementioned maps rely upon a wealth of knowledge from the graphic design and linguistics fields. The rule of thirds, discovered by the Greek mathematician Pythagoras, is just one tool useful for organizing visual information.
This is only a primer on a much broader subject, which is the specialty of professionals. There are many marketing and design firms that specialize in infographics that can help a law firm design the most useful pages.
Yet how these infographics can be useful for generating client contacts and informing the public is another very interesting topic, more relevant to those in the legal profession. Let’s now explore how lawyers specifically can benefit from using infographics.
Persuasive Legal Infographics
Lawyers build cases, make arguments, and present conclusions they hope will convince a jury or judge of their opinion. Because all of legal theory is based on the logical conclusions reached from the available evidence, how that information is presented is often a key element of the persuasive strategy.
Graphics that depict the process of litigation or are employed to present information in a persuasive manner are called litigation graphics. These are very useful for working with clients, juries, and witnesses.
However, judges, trained in the same logical reasoning tactics as lawyers, will be harder to convince with simple graphics. If you know whom you are trying to convince and what relevant information you want to depict, you are halfway to creating useful litigation graphics.
What remains is to consider, using the conclusions from the first part of your work, is how the information will be presented visually.
The works of Edward Tufte are helpful in understanding how people in different contexts take in and respond to information. However, we can briefly describe how to present even very dense information in a variety of settings.
Organizing Material Visually for Different Audiences
The most useful place for infographics is doubtlessly in a marketing strategy. They attract viewers who derive value and drive conversion rates.
What all that jargon means is simple: people will come to your site for information, find it, and when they return for more, they are more likely to use your services. In a manner of speaking, this is a “conversion” from viewer to customer.
While we have covered the helpful nature of infographics for persuading juries, where they are truly outstanding is in persuading audiences to take action. Here is one example of an infographic used to inform and incite.
The utility of this method is in attracting an audience who can be converted to paying customers. Lawyers, as professional advocates, are uniquely well suited to the use of infographics in marketing campaigns.
For example, intellectual property law is a popular subject in contemporary discourse, meaning many internet users will be searching for information related to this topic. When your website has that information, more users will be able to find it, and thereby learn of your services.
Drawing an Audience and Driving Conversion
Lawyers do not need to weigh their sites down with leaden walls of text. Snappy infographics that get to the heart of an issue in an attractive and expedient manner are popular for their convenience and utility.
Have you used infographics for your practice? What kind of information have you shared? Leave a comment below and a link to your favorite infographics.