My assumption is that most readers scan the abstracts of articles before deciding which ones to read in full. Appropriate use of graphics can improve comprehension and possibly make this scanning process more efficient. As the old saying goes "A picture is worth a thousand words". Clearly graphics are very popular as can be seen by the popularity of Infographics and Pinterest.
So I decided to try out a free infographic creation tool Piktochart to create a visual representation of the salient points of a study.
I chose this study from JAMA - because it was the first study that caught my eye in my Google Reader stream after I thought of this idea. So this is what the abstract looks like:
As you can imagine it took me a few minutes to get the main message of the study. What if I had seen this infographic instead? I took all the information from the study abstract. The only thing I added was the Number Needed to Treat (NNT) that I calculated myself.
|Infographic Created by Neil Mehta|