When I started researching into social media information, I came across so many cool-looking infographics that were able to explain all the data I was looking for in an interesting way. I was captivated by the eye-catching graphics and visually appealing layout. I was in awe of the sheer talent of the creative genius who put everything thoughtfully together. I can imagine it takes a lot of time to think of how to place the graphics strategically, create each graphic, summarize the data, design the layout, and choose appropriate colors to tie everything together.
TJ McCue, Forbes Magazine, describes infographics as, “… cool poster-like images you see floating around the web… It is usually a collection of data presented in visual form. Think of an infographic asMicrosoft PowerPoint on steroids, but without the constant droning of a speaker who doesn’t know you’ve tuned out of his or her slide presentation. I completely agree with TJ McCue that infographics are like posters of data on steroids!
I looked into what it takes to create an infographic. I was quickly discouraged because it required having programs such as Adobe Illustrator and InDesign and then you have to know how to use them. So I gave up and decided to just leave it to the pros. One day I was surfing the net on my phone and randomly googled “free infographics”. I was surprised to see that there were tons of free, easy to use progams to create my own infographics.
Here are the some of the most popular mentioned on several blogs:
- Easel.ly. Powered by WordPress has several visual themes (called vhemes) like templates that you can customize to the way you like. This is the one I used to create the infographic about me. It was super easy to use, you just simply drag and drop the elements you want from the menu to your canvas. The best part is that it is FREE!
- Visual.ly. You can quickly create infographics about your twitter or facebook account. It was easy and fun to “Twitterize” myself, which you can see in the center of my information graphic. I didn’t want to keep the infographic that it created for me because it was very sad to see that I have nothing worth mentioning from my Twitter account. I’m sure if someone had a very active profile, it would be more fascinating to see. I was able to customize my character’s hair style, color and eye color. That was a free service too but you can submit a request for an infographic to the company and an employee will call you back within a day to discuss it with you.
- Picktochart. This program seems to be the top of every blogger’s list of do-it-yourself infographic but since I have invested so much time playing around with the other two applications, I will give this a try another time. McCue reports that this service works well for his needs and thinks this service is brillant. He has saved a lot of time and money using this service instead of contracting out this work to graphic artists. It could costs thousands to produce one graphic.
There are so many programs out there and Mastermind blogger lists 17 resources out there to create killer infographics.
The best thing to do is just give them a try. I’m so glad I did and now I can create my very own infographics!
McCue, TJ. 2013 January 08. Why Infographics Rule. Forbes. Retrieved on April 1, 2013 from http://www.forbes.com/sites/tjmccue/2013/01/08/what-is-an-infographic-and-ways-to-make-it-go-viral/
Ahsan, Salman. 17 Resources to Help Create Killer Infographics. Mastermind Blogger.com. Retrieved on April 1, 2013 from http://www.mastermindblogger.com/2012/17-resources-to-help-you-create-killer-infographics/