Interactive visual communication: The sure-fire way to connect with your audience

5 minutes
Written by: Natalia De la Peña Frade

What would the world be without visual communication? Without traffic lights or signs, for example. Or the language of cinema…

Visual communication is everywhere. It’s the most direct and effective way to communicate, and we could even say that quite often it’s universal. If we also add interactivity to the mix, it’s even more efficient. Interactive content helps people understand information more easily.

In a world that’s overrun with stimulants and so many sources of information competing with yours, communicating your message effectively will not only save you time and money, but in reality it’s the only way to do it. Capturing the attention of your audience is quite the challenge, and it’s also all too easy to lose it.

Have you heard people talk about how short a goldfish’s attention span is? Well it seems that a human’s is even shorter. A goldfish’s attention span lasts 9 seconds, whereas ours is only between 5 and 8 seconds. Goldfish 1 – Human 0.

Calling all professionals from the worlds of digital journalism, marketing, design, training, and corporate communication: interactive visual communication has enormous advantages to offer you and it’s very easy to put into practice. Stay tuned to discover how!

What is interactive visual communication?

Interactive visual communication is based on using visual elements to transmit the information and also includes interactive resources that allow people to participate in the communication process. These two characteristics, visual and interactive, massively increase the effectiveness of the communication.

Want to see an example?

Check out this interactive image in this article in the University of California San Francisco magazine about healthy eating.

In content with interactive visual communication, what we’ll find above all else is visual elements (like images, videos, and GIFs), interactive elements with or without animation, and not too much text. With these elements we can create infographics, posters, or data visualizations, among many other formats, which are very useful in digital media and corporate environments.

Interactivity allows us to break the information up and organize it into layers. The visual elements are displayed in the foreground and pique people’s interest in the information, which they can then discover at their own pace. This way we avoid the aversion that a table full of data or a big block of text might cause, and we can involve the audience.

Interactive visual communication uses the best practices of visual language, digital storytelling techniques, and the interaction opportunities that technology offers.

The result is visual messages that connect with people’s curious and social nature, that invite your audience to explore to discover the rest of the story. If you get them to want to consume your content, you’ll have overcome the challenge of information overload.

Visual + interactive, the magic formula 

I’m sure you’ve read a thousand times that we are visual beings, but what does this mean exactly?

Well, for one thing, we process images up to 60,000 times faster than words.

And, images are stored in our long-term memory, while words stay in our short-term memory. Different studies have shown that we remember up to 80% of what we see, but only 20% of what we read.

That’s why using visual elements has benefits both for those sending the message as well as those receiving it. Communication is clearer and the message is much more memorable, like in this example:

And, the interactivity gives us the opportunity to turn communication into an experience, into something the audience can explore. Of course, there’s no comparison. It’s much better to have an experience than to come face to face with a wall of text, don’t you think?

Interactive visual communication in business

There is a ton of literature dedicated to the importance of communication in business, and this applies to any company. All organizations need their internal and external communication to flow smoothly, in order to improve the work environment and motivation, strengthen the coordination between different departments and facilitate the achievement of common objectives.

Applying interactive visual communication is the best way to turn boring, flat, static content into interesting experiences for teams. These are some of the areas in which interactive visual communication can contribute to communication success:

  • Training: Thanks to interactive visual communication, any kind of concept takes less time to explain. You need less text on the screen, which makes it possible to create much more visually appealing content.

Animation helps capture the team’s attention, and interactivity is very effective at getting them involved. The person receiving the training will take on an active role when they interact with the content. This way they also retain the information better, by putting what they learn into practice.

And, this involvement means they are more likely to complete the training. When we use interactive content, the dropout rate plummets as if by magic.

  • Reporting: What if instead of overwhelming teams with graphs and tables we gave them the opportunity to discover the information for themselves? Presenting reports in an interactive and animated format is the best way to capture and retain people’s attention. Interactive graphs are much more visually appealing and easier to understand.

  • Internal communication: Do you want your teams to devour the content on your intranet? Is it possible to improve internal communication results? But of course! Interactive visual communication is a great tool for creating a corporate culture.

In practice, when we use interactive content instead of lifeless PDFs, engagement improves, the time teams dedicate to consuming corporate information increases, and bounce rates decrease.

  • Marketing: Marketing is communication, and as such, it can benefit greatly from interactive visual communication. Interactive content is used in interactive marketing to catch people’s attention and increase engagement, and to improve the audience’s experience.

Materials such as catalogs, manuals, or business proposals work better if they’re interactive. Why is that? Because the message doesn’t get lost and doesn’t overwhelm people. There are no large blocks of text, but rather interaction opportunities, and people decide with a click what part of the content to visit, and which information is of interest to them. This also works for other corporate materials such as press kits or company presentations.

You might also like:
How Genially’s communications team uses Genially

Put interactive visual communication into practice with Genially: turn blablabla into wooow

How do we do that? With interactive and visual content. Makes sense, right? And, the easiest way to create interactive visual content is by using Genially! These are the features it offers:

  • It’s a no-code tool: anyone on the team can use it without having to depend on programmers to create landing pages, banners, presentations, and other materials. Major time-saver! The interactivity and animation can be added intuitively in just a few clicks.
  • The templates streamline your work. Genially has a very gentle learning curve and allows you to create materials super quickly and easily.
  • Changes are updated instantly, and anyone who visits the content always sees the latest version.
  • Interactive visual communication can include many formats, and they can all be inserted in a genially. Videos, GIFs, audios, graphs… Your audience can run through all the information without leaving your genially, which is ideal for retention. No one gets lost along the way!

In a nutshell, interactive visual content is a great help for capturing and retaining people’s attention, and to help them better understand the information. It’s the perfect tool for achieving real bidirectional communication. Have you tried it?

Natalia De la Peña Frade
Natalia De la Peña Frade
Content creator: I try to write things you like to read
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