Considering the fast expansion of scientific publications, scientists growingly require tools to rapidly explain and pay attention to their scientific research. Graphical abstract (GA) is one of the powerful tools to advance this goal. Graphical abstracts provide a visual representation of research findings. They offer a quick overview of the main concepts, results, and conclusions, allowing readers to grasp the essence of the research at a glance. The designing and redesigning a graphical abstract plays a crucial role in effectively conveying this information. Papers with well-designed graphical abstracts appear more engaging, coherent, and rigorously scientific.
The steps of redesigning a graphical abstract
Karen Cheng et al. reported their research on the impact of well-designed graphical abstracts on readers’ understanding, interest, and expectations of a scientific article (Larson, K., Cheng, K., Chen, Y., & Rolandi, M. (2017). Proving the value of visual design in scientific communication. Information Design Journal, 23(1), 80-95. In this research, they selected 10 graphical abstracts of 10 published scientific papers and improved them via redesign. They redesigned each graphical abstract via a four-step approach, including:
Step 1) The evaluation step consists of reading the associated scientific paper.
Step 2) The Edit step is editing the GAs to make them as simple as possible.
Step 3) The Compose step reorganizing the visual components to create an easy-to-understand graphical structure.
Step 4) The Refining step is highlighting the most crucial information via visual contrast (variations in color, location, and size).
Figure 1 shows the redesigning steps of an example GA. Information Design Journal 23(1), 80–95 (DOI: 10.1075/idj.23.1.09che)
The effects of redesigning a graphical abstract on viewers’ attention
The original and redesigned GAs were delivered to the 50 people who regularly read scientific journals. The opinions of each participant in the survey about the GAs were recorded. The final results of the study are displayed in Figure 2.
The findings clearly show that redesigning a graphical abstract provides significant benefits to scientific writers. Finally, it should be noted that creating a well-designed GA requires visual knowledge.
Figure 2 shows the Initial perceptions of scientific papers before and after a redesign of the Graphical Abstract. Information Design Journal 23(1), 80–95
How to order a graphical abstract?
Unfortunately, most researchers lack expertise in visual media. In this regard, collaborating scientists and graphic design experts can be influential in creating a well-designed and suitable GA.
In order to redesigning a graphical abstract you can send your request to the Inmywork website. The Inmywork studio has expert designers in the scientific field and your graphical abstracts will be designed professionally.