Infographics (or information graphics) have been around for many years and recently the proliferation of a number of easy-to-use, free tools have made the creation of infographics available to all. They are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly. By presenting information in a compact and creative format, infographics are not only able to quickly convey knowledge but also engage its viewers – and social media sites have allowed for this kind of content to be spread quickly and easily.
There are many reasons to include infographics in your content strategy – 10 good reasons are listed in this blog post:
- Infographics are compelling and attractive
- Easily scanned and viewed
- Viral capabilities
- Portable (embeddable)
- Worldwide coverage
- Brand awareness
- Increases traffic
- Benefits SEO
- Shows an expert understanding of a subject
We have taken a look at some free tools for creating infographics and here are our favorites:
This free web-based tool has a great interface and nice themes. You can create charts using real data and there are some cool chart type options. Inserting and deleting data is child’s play, and you can also add your own images and videos. When you’re done infographics can be instantly shared though social media or you can embed it on a website.
Piktochart offers a number of decent free themes (and more for the paid version) for creating simple visualizations. Its customizable editor allows you to change color schemes, fonts, add different shapes, pre-loaded graphics and your own images. The template helps you line up everything and resize and you can also add simple charts using data from CSV or manual entry.
Visual.ly is very user-friendly and helps you create infographics in seconds. It integrates with social networks to analyze Twitter and Facebook data but doesn’t seem to offer much customization. However there’s a marketplace where you can get connected with designers and graphics artists who specialize in infographics “bringing together marketing gurus, data nerds and design junkies.”
With a beautiful interface and slick themes, this tool is suitable for conceptual visualizations and storytelling however you cannot create graphs using real data. The themes are designed to support common purposes and you can upload your own images or choose from a great selection of modern graphic objects (people, maps, transportation, animals, icons etc.). There are also common shapes, connector lines and arrows. A grid allows for a perfect layout and you can customize in a number of ways. Then of course the finished infographic can be downloaded or shared with a link or embed code.
5. Many Eyes
Many Eyes is an IBM research tool that provides a range of visualizations and is suitable if you have your on data on hand (or want to use existing sets of data). If you use your own data you can upload it and create your own visual with different options.
We will follow this post up with a focus on elearning infographics in the coming weeks. In the meantime enjoy – and please add your suggestions in comments! ~ @rgogos
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