4 great Infographic tools

I admit I am not the most creative person in the world so anything I knock together is going to look awful and not really demonstrate what I am after. Infographics can be used in education instead of traditional poster presentations, or modules which ask for “interactive” or “online” elements.

I had originally intended to look at the 10 or so big players in this area, however I will only use programs that are freely available and allow you to, create a graphics AND share it for free without trying to force you to pay for it once finished.

It is worth noting as infographics tend to be interactive, if you save the them as an image you will lose the tool tips and mouse overs and interactive elements, so you will need to plan ahead with the design.

I am not going to spend more than half an hour on each program, as ultimately I want to see which is easiest to use.

Easel.ly

easelly_visualEasel.ly is easily the best (SORRY) is the best; with its pre-built templates, that can be adapted and customised quickly and easily to give you a professional looking infographic with little to no effort.

Easel.ly is part of WordPress, however I couldn’t seem to link it to my current account, and thus had to create a new username/password combination.

Once the infographic is finished, it seemed to be a pain to save the file as an image. What I had do was:

Log into to easel.ly

Click “view / share”

Click “Download”

You can now open the file as a JPEG, alternatively you can share the file using the inbuilt share options.

Infogr.am

infrgramThis one won’t work in Google Chrome.

Infogr.am is more powerful than Easel, although it does take a little more “getting used to”Once you get used to it, the back-end is much more powerful than Easel.

A big issue for me, is that you can’t save the file after you have worked on it without signing up and paying a subscription.   To get the image, I have to share to Twitter and then take a print screen.

Infogr.am does like into social media very well as it allows you to automatically publish to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

An issue I noticed with this program, is when you edit an old graphic and republish it you still get the old version without the updates.

piktochart.com

pictochartPiktochart is the hardest to use. It is not immediately obvious how you enter details into the charts to make them yourself.

A big plus here is that keyboard shortcuts work.

I did run out of time on this one. While it is easy to edit and add text/graphs I still can’t figure out how to remove sections. The image shows several blank sections, which I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to delete them. (EDIT: To delete a block you need to select a section and choose “delete block” at the top of the page.)

A major flaw with this one, which I am still yet to resolve, is the link you are provided with when you share to social media is broken. I tried about 5 times by making a new file so I got a different link. However, all provided links were broken.

 WeAreFeministsWordleWordle

Word clouds have been around forever, and are very useful in some circumstances. There are hundreds of Word Cloud programs out there, but Wordle is my favourite, although you do have to cheat to get the jpeg at the end.

What I do is, “Open in Window”-> expand the image to full screen -> Print Screen the image-> Paste into “Paint” -> then save the JPEG .

This image, is a Wordle of all the WeAreFeminist blog posts to date.

I one issue I have with Wordle is that it will not allow me to exclude certain words or phrases.

The software is not the smartest so the word “don’t” will be “don” and “t” or Twitter handles can get split into two. One program which does allow for excluding words is “ManyEyes” by IBM http://www-958.ibm.com/software/analytics/labs/manyeyes, however you can’t save the image, it only allows you published to a website. (My example is at http://www-958.ibm.com/software/analytics/labs/manyeyes/#vis=501108)

What Social Media do you use?

It seems I have become considered an expert in Social Media, I am not really sure what this means as most “Social Media Experts” don’t tell you anything and are universally useless. They are like management consultants, paid a fortune to say bland platitudes which offer no real insight or advice in how to do something. I find like with most things in life, that a common sense approach is all that is really needed.

I specifically decided not to have a strategy with Social Media, as I wanted our sites to develop in a natural way and let our audience shape our output.

Rather than giving you advice on how to use the following Social Networks, I will tell you:

  • how we use them where I work
  • how we target each network
  • What I feel each network is for
  • Do I plan to use them in my job Read More…

Using Google Forms in Module Evaluation

soebanner

 

The School of English is a large department with five degree programmes and roughly 800 undergraduate students and currently offer around 430 modules across undergraduate and post graduate study. This means we spend an inordinate amount of time proccessing paper evaluations forms, this can be very laborious and is not an effective use of staff time.

Due to the amount of paper feedback we were receiving, if was decided to pilot online module evaluations. Read More…

Screencasts for Module Recruitment

The last few months I have been looking at ways to get our information out there to the people who need it.

The History department have produced some fantastic videos on first year modules, as we have 130+ modules running each year we decided it was simply too much work for a video which would need to be re done each year.

Beginners guide to Google Apps

googleappsblog

Google Apps

I am going to take a different approach with Google Apps this week.

We all know by now they are not my favourite products, but it does have its uses and is very good at some things.

There are many other advantages and disadvantages to Google apps, I will only mention what I see as key pros and cons to keep this short.
Read More…

WordPress.com, Blogger or WordPress.org

Image

Blogger vs WordPress.org vs WordPress.com

For the past couple of weeks I have been setting up three multi-author blogs for three projects I am working on.

Most of you will have noticed that this page is a wordpress.com account, so over the 6 months I have been blogging I am starting to get my head round the features and limitations of a.com account.

As I have been asked to set up three blogs for three projects I decided to run the 3 blogs on the 3 different platforms mentioned.

I will compare certain aspects I have discovered and rate the respective area out of 5 and see who comes out on top. Read More…

Is Google+ currently the worst example of Social Media?

ImageWhy do people defend the indefensible? In particular, why do people defend Google+?

Facebook comes in for a lot of criticism for the targeted ads, clutter, redesigns and privacy issues. But through use of an Adblock (Thanks @neilyc) you can get rid of a lot of the clutter. Read More…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 324 other followers