Taylor Mundays blog for ENGL 3844
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  • Affordances

     

    Screen Shot 2014-02-22 at 8.29.23 PMThe Infogr.am website is easy to access and easy to use. The homepage of the website provides picture examples of everything an infographic can do for you, as well as how easy it is to use, enticing the reader to try out the site.

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    The ability to easily share your infographic is a definite advantage of this website. Not only does the site publish your finished product, but with the click of a button you can share your design on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest. You can even create your Infogr.am account using your Facebook or Twitter page, making it even easier to immediately share your finished product.

    Once you create your account, be it through a social media site or by simply using your email address, the site opens up to a login page with three easy options: Create a new infographic, Access your library of infographics, or Upgrade to Pro (which costs $18 per month. The only extra services this provides is four new themes, password protected published graphics, and the ability to directly download your design as a PDF). The simple, charcoal grey background keeps the focus on the different options the user has for how to proceed, and the bright colors of the buttons capture your attention.

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    Once you decide to “create” a new design, you are presented with the different templates you can choose from. The only real difference in the templates is the color scheme of each, and the lack of different layouts to pick from can be frustrating. However, once you pick a template to use it’s smooth sailing. After making your selection, you are taken to the editing screen where you actually put together your graphic. Each of the buttons is clearly labeled, from how to input different sources of data to how to ask for help and access the FAQs. This limits the potential sources of confusion for users.

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    Adding a graph or a map to your design is very user friendly. You simply select “Add a Chart” or “Add a Map” from the edit screen. The site adds a standard map or chart to the bottom of your graphic, and you double-click on it to open the edit options. A convenient excel spreadsheet pops up for you to edit the chart/map. Users do not have to create their own excel sheets to insert information, but the site does offer the option of uploading the data if you have a ready made excel sheet you wish to use.

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    If you choose to use a graph to depict information – which I would hope you would seeing as infographics support the use of graphs so well – you’re in luck. The site offers just about every type of graph imaginable: pie chart, bar graph, scatter plot, pictorial, word cloud, etcetera. This means that no matter what information you’re trying to depict you’ll be able to find a suitable graph to use. You can then personalize the information, the color scheme, and the size of the graph.

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    You rearrange items on the page by clicking and dragging them up and down; making it easy to arrange them in the way you feel will make the biggest impact or is simply the most logical. The end result will be a clean, professional looking product.