Lisa Gerber, Chief Content Officer at Spin Sucks, mentioned in her blog post, Becoming a PR Technologist, that “… it is our responsibility to stay ahead of technology. For that matter, it is the responsibility of any professional regardless of industry.” I agree with Lisa whole-heartedly. I enjoy being a Tech Tester (PR Practice #4 in my book) and I’ve been trying to tech test new platforms and experience different tools every week. It’s not only helping me to stay abreast of the latest resources for my clients, but also allowing me to speak the language of my marketing, brand and web colleagues. For most of my projects, I’m working with interactive agencies, brand professionals, and online web services teams.
As a part of my quest to rally my communications friends into tech testing mode, this post introduces a tool I’ve discovered to create custom Infographics. It’s called Easel.ly and it’s simple to use. You don’t have to be a designer by trade to develop colorful and creative visuals. And, with Infographics being “all the rave,” why not use some of the first-hand research you’ve uncovered to visually illustrate unique information about your client, product or cause.
Here are some tips to using Easel.ly that will help you create one of a kind Infographics with the potential to spark conversations and great collaboration with your stakeholders.
- Be Creative: An important thing to understand when beginning to use www.easel.ly is that the infographic themes provided are there to guide you, not dominate your creative vision. What makes an infographic interesting is the creativity and individuality that goes into each one.
- Select the Right Theme: Look at the information you have prepared, and analyze which layout would be the best fit from the choices provided. Do you mostly have statistics to share? Would it be more effective to use a chart or a graph? Those are the kinds questions to consider. When picking a theme, only concern yourself with the general layout because colors and objects can easily be deleted and replaced.
- Explore the Tools: There are so many options when it comes to using Easel.ly. However, none of them will be fully useful if you do not familiarize yourself with the different functionality. If you’ve selected your theme, then you’ve barely even touched the surface of what this resource has to offer. There are a multitude of objects, shapes, and text fonts to insert, you can change the colors, and if that’s not enough, you can also upload any images you’d like to customize your infographic. By capitalizing on the options provided, you’re able to transform one of the template themes into your own creation.
- Use the Lock Tool: Organization is the number one way to ease the process of making an infographic. The best way to stay organized is by using the lock tool. As your infographic progresses, you’re going to acquire an assemblage of various text, shapes, and objects, which can get confusing. The lock tool is functional for all items to prevent any further moving, resizing, and scaling. Once the object is in place, hit the lock button so any further design won’t interfere while you continue the creation process. Consider all confusion eliminated!
- Learn the Grid Tool: When you’re designing anything, uniformity should always be a major focus. The grid tool allows you to have even placement between all items within your graphic. By doing this, the graphic as a whole becomes more visually appealing to the eye, and, in turn, more effective for the viewer.
- Show How Less is More: You never want a graphic that is too overpowering, so simplicity is key! Although there are so many options to include in your infographic, you can avoid clutter by only using as much or as little as you need. Choose a few objects, maintain a minimal color scheme, and avoid too much font variation with your text. Here’s where the saying, “everything is better in moderation,” really applies.
Being a Tech Tester and finding the right technology tools to create interesting and meaningful ways to share information can be trial and error. So, when you discover an easy tool or application to use, please make sure you share your tool and tips with your colleagues. Together we have a lot to learn, but we can uncover a lot of ground together. Happy tech testing with Easel.ly!