If you’re trying to summarize a complex process, or to break down a process into easy to understand steps, a visual aid can be very helpful.
That’s where a process infographic comes in handy.
Process infographics visualize, summarize and simplify processes. They’re perfect for visualizing marketing strategies, new employee onboarding, customer journey maps, product guide, recipe and more.
But if you’re working within a tight design budget–and you don’t have much design experience yourself–designing an infographic might seem kind of intimidating. That’s why it’s a good idea to start with an infographic template.
How to use a process infographic template:
- Pick a process infographic template that fits the process you want to visualize.
- Add, remove, and rearrange steps in the infographic using the drag-and-drop canvas.
- Paste your own text and important your own images into the infographic.
- Customize the colors, fonts and icons to make the infographic design your own.
Here are our most popular process infographic templates to get you started, along with some essential tips for visualizing processes.
1. Follow a simple step-by-step layout for straightforward processes
Sometimes, it’s best to not overcomplicate your design. If you want to visualize a straightforward process, then a simple infographic with numbered steps can be very effective.
Use a clear, bold header for your infographic. Then, clearly number your steps. To emphasize each step, you may want to use a different color for the numbers. Take a look at how the orange numbers stand out against the blue background in this process infographic template:
Or take a look at how this writing process infographic template uses a simple color gradient to visualize progress. Color should be used strategically in your infographic to make the information easier to understand:
2. Save space in your process infographic template by using an S-shaped layout
You only have so much space on your page. A hack for fitting more steps into one infographic is to use an S-shaped layout (you could also call this a road layout or a snake layout).
Use a connecting line to indicate the order in which points in the process should be read. It can also be helpful to reinforce the order of the steps using numbers.
The S layout in this process infographic template looks like a winding road. Perfect for visualizing a customer journey:
3. Incorporate images to visualize steps
While icons are awesome visuals to include in your infographics, sometimes they aren’t quite realistic enough. That’s why you may want to include more realistic images to illustrate important information.
To incorporate images into your design, look for images that have a transparent background. That way, the background of the image won’t stick out from the background of your infographic.
If an image you want to use doesn’t have a transparent background, you can incorporate it into you design by using a border around the image or an image frame.
For example, this recipe infographic uses images to illustrate what each of the ingredients are:
It’s also useful to include a picture of the results of your process. Here’s another example of a recipe infographic, this time with a shot of the finished dish:
But this tip doesn’t just have to apply to recipe. You could include a mock up of a finished product, or an image of a picture depicting your goals being hit.
4. Use a circle layout to show a cyclical process
If you have a process that repeats, or one that involves regular iteration and improvement, then a circle infographic layout can work well. Clearly indicate where the “starting” point it and use numbered steps or arrows to indicate that direction the process follows.
For example, take a look at this circular process infographic template for product design:
If your process is more of a chicken-and-egg situation, then a circle with no break makes more sense. Take a look at how this cyclical process infographic template uses different colors to help each step stand out on its own:
5. Create a mind map for processes that don’t follow a specific order
A mind map connects ideas and shows where different ideas branch out.
Maybe you want to show a broad overview of a process. Or maybe the process you’re visualizing doesn’t follow a specific order. In both cases, a mind map can show readers options for steps they can take.
For example, this social media process infographic template shows multiple options you could tackle first. A brief description under the mind map offers some important contextual information:
A mind map infographic is also a great way to share key information that readers should keep top-of-mind as they carry out a process. For example, this infographic visualizes six important tips for writing compelling emails:
6. Color code phases of your process
When it comes to visualizing information, your color choices should be about more than just looking nice. You should think about how colors can make information easier to understand.
For example, you can color code different phases or steps in your process. This will help make your process easier to follow, and will show how particular steps are grouped together.
For example, this hiring process infographic template uses different colors to sort the process into three sections:
You can also color code headers to make it easier to scan your infographic for a specific step. In this process infographic, each step is surrounded by a different color circle. The description for each step has a header in the corresponding color:
7. Pick fonts that reflect the theme of your process
The fonts you choose can affect how the information in your infographic is perceived. Certain fonts look more old fashioned, like serif fonts or script fonts. Meanwhile, certain fonts look more modern and forward-thinking.
Think about who the audience of your infographic will be, and what mood you want your infographic to convey.
For example, are you visualizing a process for your customers? In that case, you may want to use a font that looks friendly and approachable. Or perhaps you want to use a more traditional font to show that your company is reliable.
The header font for each step in this design process infographic template is friendly and a bit playful. In this case, this reflects the idea of making clients happy:
Now take a look at this process infographic template that uses the same text, but with different fonts:
This infographic looks more innovative and technical, doesn’t it?
8. Use arrows to give your process infographic template flow
In design, visual cues are things like arrows, images of fingers pointing, or images where someone is looking in a specific direction. Visual cues help to direct how people read your infographic.
When designing your process infographic, think about how you want your information to flow on the page. You can create flow by connecting steps in a process with a line, or by using arrows to point readers towards the next step.
Take a look at how arrows help the information in this process infographic flow:
Here’s another example of an infographic that uses arrows. The arrows make it possible for the steps to jump back and forth across the page while still making sense:
Or, for a more subtle approach, you could incorporate an arrow shape into your section backgrounds. Like in this process infographic template, where each section “points” to the next:
9. Use a flow chart to visualize a workflow or a process with multiple paths
A flow chart can make processes with multiple paths and supporting processes easier to follow. They’re also handy for simplifying workflows and breaking complex processes down into steps.
Typically, a flow chart uses a box (or other shape) to visualize a step in a process, with lines or arrows pointing to the next step.
Here’s an example of a simplified process flow chart for inbound marketing:
10. Create an infographic that lists the tools needed for a process
Infographics make for great cheat sheets. Why not also create an infographic to remind readers about tools they will need to successfully see a process through?
A simple list infographic layout works well for this. You can use icons or images to illustrate each tool, to help eliminate confusion.
Here’s a beginner-friendly infographic template you can use to show a list. Here’s a creative design hack: use icons in the place of bullet points:
11. Create custom illustrations using icons
Do you want to illustrate how to complete an action in your process? If you don’t have to resources to hire a graphic designer, you might be at a loss for how you can create your own illustrations.
That’s where icons can be a lifesaver. Using different icons, you can create your own custom illustrations. Simply search for icons depicting the different pieces of the scene you have in mind. Then, arrange them into a scene the way you would arrange pieces of a collage.
For example, look at how convincing the illustrations are in this hack infographic:
And in this job hiring process infographic template, icon illustrations help to illustrate what each phase of the process entails:
(By the way…Venngage offers over 40,000 different icons to choose from!)