Infographs are huge right now. They are fun, interesting, colorful ways to consolidate and present a lot of information in a very small and easily consumable package. They are also a great way for students to display information in a creative an engaging way. Enter infogr.am.
This website lets you make infographs that are interactive and beautiful. Want to know more about it? I thought you would. Click past the break to see all the screen shots and infogr.am goodness. Also, get a load of my very own infographic. It’s sweeeet! 🙂
Why do I even include this part anymore? It’s the same old protocol: username, email and password. Nothing new here. It’s simple, straight forward and a breeze.
The main menu
Once you’ve signed up or in you will see these four choices.
You can create a New Infographic a New Chart go to your Library (where everything you create is automatically stored) or the store (which is currently not available).
Having few options let’s you get to what you need to do. I like it! There is no digging through menus or options or settings. It’s all right here for you.
Creating an Infographic
Creating an infograph is pretty easy. Once you click on the New Infographic button you must chose what template you want to work with.
As you can count, there are only 6 choices right now, but really, this is just for the background and basic design. All the charts that you see in the examples above can be applied to any of the templates. You also have the power to change the template later on if you wish from the settings.
So I picked the second one. When you open it up this is what welcomes you. A very clean and elegant layout.
On the far right hand side you have these three options.
On the far left hand side you have these options.
Let’s talk about each option briefly shall we?
- Charts – They have a lot different chart types . . . a lot!
- Maps – You can add a Google Map to your infograph.
- Text – Several different options here, but you cannot change format the text.
- Images – You will have to upload images from your computer.
- Video – You can embed Vimeo or YouTube videos
Then there is the infograph itself.
To move elements simply click and drag. To delete elements click on the X that on the upper left side of each one. Very simple. Now to change one of the elements, for example if I want to change one of the title all you do is double click on it.
If you want to change the data on the graphical charts just double click the chart and you will be presented with this handy little spreadsheet. Here you can add or upload your own data and it will immediately be reflected in the new chart.
You cannot put formulas into the spreadsheet like on Excel but why would you want to do that anyway?
One thing I did notice was that I could not change from one chart type to another. For example, if I had a column chart and decided I wanted to use a pie chart instead I could not figure out a way to change it. I had to delete the chart and then remake it.
I could copy and paste the data but it seemed just a bit silly that I couldn’t just change it on the fly.
Another thing that I found a little weird was that you can make an info graphic or you can make just a chart. That part is fine. What I wish I could do was take a chart I made and bring it into the infograph. I don’t see why that can’t happen. I found that a little annoying as well.
Publishing the infograph is pretty easy. All you have to do is click on the Share button above the infograph and you are presented with some options. Notice the handy-dandy embed code at the bottom. Easy to add to websites.
Once it is published it becomes “interactive” when you roll your mouse over a part of the infograph. For example, when I roll mu mouse over the chart it will display the exact value of the bar. Kind of nice I guess.
Click on the image below to check out mine. I cannot embed it into the blog post due to WordPress.com restrictions concerning iframes. Sorry 😦
There are some settings as well that are located above the infograph.
These settings will let you change the width, theme and share button.
Wrapping it up
I like infogr.am – I do. I
The final infograph (click the image above since WordPress.com will not allow me to embed it) looks pretty good. It’s slick, colorful and it doesn’t look like someone threw up on a piece of paper. Infogr.am does a nice job of giving you lots of features but limits your design choices letting users focus on the information and letting infogr.am focus on the design.
I wish there was a way to export it as a PDF. I know that this will mean you will have to sacrifice its “interactivity,” but it would give the user some options, especially if they wanted to add it to a report or just print it off.
I also wish there was a way to change the chart types on the fly. I know that some charts just won’t work with one another, but if that’s the case the chart can simply not display.
The site is easy to use, and getting people signed up is a breeze. Would I use this with students? I could, but I’d like to check out all the competition first. I’ll let you know.