Sunday, 4 September 2011

Glorious Gliffy-Give it a go!

 4th post, Sunday 4th September, 2011.

Today I decided I wanted to create an infographic. Visually, they are a wonderful way for to peruse a decent amount of information very quickly. They are fun to scan and as I found out, fun to create! I wasn't sure where to start so I googled. This page was the one I looked at originally- awesome-free-tools-infographics. I was keen to create more of a flow diagram style.  I had already used Wordle and recently acquired wordfoto on my iphone which I really enjoy.  Out of those presented, creately looked like the software tool that I was after- except there is pricing involved. I also signed up for which appearred fairly funky, until I "visited the create lab" and found the message "coming soon."  Mental note: return to give that site a whirl! By now I felt like I wasn't really progressing in my quest to design an infographic.  Enter TWITTER and a shout out to my PLN.@largerama was the first to reply with the same link as above (as did @dunphy a bit later), after mentioning this, Nick replied with this link 5-unbeatable-types-of-infographic-free-tools-to-create-them/ This is where gliffy was presented. Thanks Nick! I signed up and experimented with the design tools for a couple of hours this morning and then completed the infographic tonight.  It is presented below.Click here to view larger image.


10 Things I learnt about using Gliffy:
  1.  There is a free 30 day trial where you can create 5 diagrams for free. From what I can gather, the infographic remains public after the trial period.
  2. Save time by researching the information before hand. Have any images you wish to use accessible.
  3. Upload these images on the LHS toolbar (upload images).  Also, spend some time searching for any relevant images using the search images toolbar (also on the LHS).
  4. It is easy.  Just a matter of creating a background colour, dragging basic shapes onto the page (from LHS toolbar) and adding text. Images can also be dragged across and size manipulated.
  5. The toolbar at the top allows you to Grab items and move (hand symbol), point and enter. Add text and arrows-which automatically link and attach to several points around each shape. Easy.
  6. Allow1-4 hours, depending on prior skill and information accessibility. This one took about 3-4 hours as it was my first attempt and I was searching, saving and loading images/info as I went. 
  7. Use a PC....Mac+Chrome+flash =freezing and inability to use all the functions ie grabbed only and pointer didn't work.
  8. When I was working away on the Mac for some reason I must have grouped some elements together and wasn't able to edit them.  Until I found the help section with shape shortcuts on the top RHS of the screen. Very handy indeed. Control U = ungroup.
  9. The software saves as you go -very nifty and reserves your work in a draft stage until you are ready to publish. The program then presents you with various sizes of images, from thumbnail to Public diagram, as well as an embedded code.
  10. You are graced with a sense of accomplishment :)
 Has anyone else used other free software for an infographic? Please share- I am eager to try out some more! I hope this helps with your quest to graph information...

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