Infographics are one of the most powerful tools to break down complex concepts, processes or procedures. A step infographic really comes in handy in this case, especially for simplifying information.
Not sure what a step infographic is? If you’ve ever put together a piece of Ikea furniture, you’ve probably encountered a step infographic in the form of the instruction booklet that comes with every Billy bookcase and Ektorp sofa.
These simple, clear instructions aim to make quick work of the long process of installing flat-pack furniture, with each step detailing tools, pieces and physical movements needed.
You may not need to have your audience visualize how to assemble a Sollerön outdoor sofa, but Venngage’s Process Infographic Maker can help you create a step infographic that explains processes such as a company’s revenue cycle or HR’s recruiting strategy.
Learn more about potential approaches to step infographics, as well as some ways you can customize the templates here to suit your needs.
Want to learn more about other types of infographics? Read our blog on the 9 types of infographics or watch the video below:
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Healthcare step infographic templates
In the healthcare arena, step infographics can be used for internal and external purposes including explaining the care, billing and revenue process or helping team members grow effectively in their careers.
Some healthcare step infographics will visualize a linear process that has a distinct beginning middle and end, while others may be cyclical, with the final step leading right back into the first.
Here we see a cyclical process visualized. In this case, the topic is how a health office makes its money. It’s easy to see how a template like this might apply in other fields, and this stage infographic is ideal for processes in which steps won’t overlap.
Team members see the role they play regardless of their department, while numbered steps and subtle color-coding reinforce the parties responsible for each stage in the process.
This example takes a slightly different approach in telling a similar story, visualizing the revenue cycle of a doctor’s office. Color-coding helps separate the phases in this stage infographic, and arrows push the action along.
An approach like this would be ideal for situations in which there could be a concern that audience members will interpret the donut chart approach of the first example as being related to the length of time each phase will take.
Ensuring the success of team members is crucial in any organization, and healthcare providers are no different. While patient care is always top of mind, just like any other workplace, professional development can’t be allowed to take a backseat.
This step-by-step infographic describes and visualizes detailed steps regarding each team member’s annual development plan, including what’s expected of them and how their supervisors will be involved. Simple icons encased in circles reinforce what happens in each phase of the yearly process.
This simple process infographic approach could be replicated for internal or external purposes across the healthcare landscape, as it’s ideal for any linear process.
HR step infographic templates
Human resources departments are usually the ones tasked with explaining complex or confusing processes or even decisions that may be unpopular among staff members. HR departments can use step infographics in diverse ways like hiring, facilities management or providing instructions.
This example focuses on explaining how potential new hires are vetted long before a job offer is made. Not only does this step infographic outline the phases of this process so they are clear, but it illustrates the extent of assessment work that’s done before a job offer is extended.
By using actual photographs to explain the steps, this stages infographic brings reality to the entire process, which includes serious matters like criminal background checks, which reliance on icons might not do.
This vertical step infographic is an ideal way to create something akin to a checklist in the mind of the audience. In this case, the infographic describes and illustrates the steps necessary to ensure facility safety. Use of whitespace, or negative space, creates the impression that each step is simple and manageable.
HR departments are often responsible for delivering information to team members that might seem like it goes without saying. But as this hand-washing infographic illustrates (and as a lot of us learned in March 2020), that’s probably not the case.
The minimalist icon style, fonts and color palette all serve to give this step infographic an approachable feel that would be easy to translate into any process with four to six stages.
The quickness with which companies across the world had to figure out how to get business done with some or all of their team members at home as cities, states and countries issued pandemic-related lockdowns in 2020 was simply staggering.
Even when there’s not a pandemic raging, HR departments are often required to explain new procedures or technology that every team member is expected to understand. This infographic that details the steps of using Google Meet is easily customizable to any web-based application, or even enterprise technology by uploading screenshots to Venngage’s Process Infographic Maker.
Another important function of HR teams is often providing tips and tricks for team members, and arranging them in a stage infographic is helpful for grabbing attention.
In the case of this example step infographic, the HR team itself is the focus, but this layout is easily modified for other brief collection of steps and could apply to health and wellness, good coworker relations or work-life balance.
Step infographic templates for marketing
In the marketing space, there are about as many explanations for how to make a successful campaign as there are marketers. That’s because everyone does things a bit differently, and no matter what, the process of crafting and executing a marketing campaign is challenging.
This infographic boils down the steps an influencer, company or brand would take to build their audience on one specific platform, Instagram. The steps are abbreviated and simplified, of course, but the path is clear.
This example is the most meta that we’ll explore today, but a step infographic is a perfect way to explain how to, well, make an infographic. Numbered steps and bright colors combine with simple icons to distill a process that can easily feel overwhelming, particularly for beginners.
For any nonprofit, securing consistent, regular funding is one of the biggest jobs, and email marketing is the preferred method for many. As this stage infographic details, there are several distinct steps to take in getting started with email marketing.
3-step infographic templates
A process doesn’t have to be a lengthy one to be visualized in a step infographic, and it can take as few as three steps to create an interesting and engaging step infographic.
In this example, we see a series of three steps to help your audience solve their problems through thought leadership. As this step infographic shows, it’s not always necessary for your information to start out as specific, clear steps.
Adding numbers and arranging the information in a stage infographic format helps the audience feel that the steps are manageable. Creating a step-by-step process, even where none exists, is a proven method for simplifying complexity and engaging your audience.
4-step infographic templates
This infographic is broken into four sections based on the business area that each element is slotted into, and the arrows that push the reader around the page reinforce the cyclical nature of the information.
5-step infographic templates
The higher the number of stages in your step infographic, the more important it becomes to ensure you’re distilling steps to their fundamentals. But with just five steps, there is still a great deal of flexibility with layouts, as these examples illustrate.
Product design is the focus of this stage infographic that uses a bold, modern color palette and features an unmistakable visual track for readers to follow. The square design is ideal for steps that don’t need a great deal of explanation.
Five-step infographics can take on a more vertical format, depending on how much information needs to be conveyed in each step. In the case of the above sales onboarding example, while the content is expanded, color coding, iconography and a simple dotted line ensure the reader remains engaged.
6-step infographic templates
Lengthy stage infographics are best served by including some design elements that are sure to draw readers’ attention down the page, as these two six-step infographics illustrate.
This process infographic explores how it’s possible to create a zero-waste lifestyle, and the bright colors combine nicely with the icons, which have a simple, almost hand-rendered feel.
Another tall process infographic, this six-step description of the process for staging a successful fundraiser eschews icons in favor of photographs, which helps connect the stages to real people.
7-step infographic templates
Another smart way to visualize a process with several steps is to utilize a modern tone-on-tone layout and color scheme like this stage infographic that explains steps in a product launch. The rocket icon at the top right creates an energetic feel.
8-step infographic templates
When possible, consider a visual metaphor or design element that connects to the content of your stage infographic. In the below example, the shape on the left side of the page calls to mind a ladder; in this case, a career ladder, which the infographic aims to help the reader navigate.
In situations where visual metaphors aren’t feasible or conducive to a process infographic, bold use of design elements like shapes, colors and patterns can spur readers’ interest. The below example does this through circle shapes filled with halftone textures. (Humans are naturally drawn to circles.)
9-step infographic templates
Some step infographics offer so much good information that the best way to design them is to split the process, phases or stages into two or more columns. In the case of the step infographic below, the nine phases are arranged into two columns, and color-coding helps the reader along.
When brevity isn’t an issue, a linear step infographic can be a beautiful, simple way to tell a complicated story. The example below covers a total of nine steps, and the extensive use of white space ensures that the content is the star.
Numbered steps, dotted lines and arrows all ensure the reader follows the specific process flow.
10-step infographic templates
Circles aren’t the only shapes that can add visual interest to a lengthy process infographic. In this example below, 10 steps are arranged in a two-column format with sharp-edged shapes containing the content of each step.
The feeling is very corporate, and the use of white, linear icons serves to create a streamlined feeling despite the overall length of the infographic.
Step infographic best practices
Before you get started creating a step infographic, we have a few steps of our own for you to follow:
- Step 1: Simplify your information as much as possible. This means reducing the number of steps to a few as necessary, and it also means editing your content down to ensure readers can grasp the point quickly.
- Step 2: Decide on a layout approach, such as one of the options we explored above.
- Step 3: Use the design to make connections or distinctions in readers’ minds. For example, if your process applies to team members across an organization, be sure that all stages related to one department have something in common like color, pattern or icons.
In summary: Simplify processes, explain new concepts and provide clear instruction with a step infographic
Step infographics have many diverse applications across just about every industry, and they can be used for internal or external communications. The most successful step or process infographics are those in which the content is minimal and the design takes readers on a journey.
Creating an engaging, informative step infographic using Venngage’s easy-to-edit templates and drag-and-drop editor is the best way to ensure the steps and advice you’re offering stick in the minds of your readers.