Like many librarians, I have a thing for infographics. They let you tell a story out of data in a visually appealing and concise way, making complex things easier for your target audience to understand.
As much as I love infographics, the thought of doing design work from scratch kind of terrifies me. Luckily, Visual.ly and Piktochart have come to the rescue! They both allow you to create custom infographics.
Do you want to showcase the impact of your library’s Facebook page to your administration? Visual.ly lets you create an infographic to do just that.
Visual.ly initially began as a collection that you could mine for great looking infographics, and they allowed designers to upload their infographics to share with other data visualization enthusiasts. They are a great place to turn to for infographic inspiration and in March they released a tool that lets everyone create stunning infographics out of their social media data.
It’s very easy to create an infographic with Visual.ly. Once you’re on their website, just select the Create option on their top navigation. After you create an account, you can get started building your infographics. Currently, Visual.ly offers five different data visualization topics for your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Once you select the one you want, you can connect to your Facebook or Twitter account and presto…your infographic is done in 10 seconds. You can even share your infographic on Facebook, Twitter, email, or on your website.
The one downside to Visual.ly is that they only offer a handful of infographic designs, but they are in the process of creating some new templates. I’m looking very forward to seeing what they come up with, and I’m hopeful that their new designs will let us play with our social media data in some interesting ways.
Here is the Social Life of Librarian Lifestyle’s Facebook page that I just created in Visual.ly. As you can see, you can get great insight into how your fans interact with your Facebook page by creating an infographic in Visual.ly.
Picktochart is a new startup whose goal is to make a tool that everyone can use to create stories out of their data, and I think they’ve accomplished that goal! Picktochart is very intuitive to use, and their tool makes it really easy to create customized infographics. The free acount lets you choose from three different designs, and for $9.99 per month you can upgrade to a professional account with more template options.
You can customize your infographic by selecting different shapes, colors, graphics, and fonts. The tools feature lets you enter data or import your data in a .csv file that will automatically populate your graph. I love this site, because you can quickly create an interesting infographic without learning a new software program like Illustrator. This is great for anyone who doesn’t have a background in design (like me!).
Just click and drag to add a variety of shapes, graphs, and graphics to your infographic. It’s super easy!
Have you created an infographic for your library? Share it with us. We’d love to see it and be inspired!
By Karen Holt, infographic junkie and Communication Librarian at The University of Texas at Austin. Karen loves learning about new tech trends and she tweets @karenholt and @librarianlifest.