Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

With The Greatest of Ease...

Good visuals grab your attention. Concise, precise information about a subject which interests you will hold it.  The combination of the two presented in infographics is unbeatable.

This past fall I tried a web 2.0 infographic app called Piktochart reviewed here with great results.  Another which has captured my attention based on posts by Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers, and Larry Ferlazzo of Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... (making his The Best Web 2.0 Applications for Education in 2012 list) and in viewing two infographics here and here created by Travis Jonker on his blog, 100 Scope Notes, is Easel.ly.  Easel.ly is still in beta and free of charge.

To register you are asked for a username, email address, password, first and last name. (Even without any terms of service and privacy policy visible, this would require users to be at least 13 years old, unless parental/guardian permission has been secured.) To begin click on the blank canvas in the left with the words start fresh in the center. (Or select from one of the templates to the right and below.)

I decided to replicate the information included in my Piktochart infographic, comparing ease of use and final visual appeal.  The new window in Easel.ly offers users the option of dragging vhemes (visual + themes) and objects to their art board as well as modifying any text with a double click.  Along the top of the tool bar you can add:

  • Vhemes
  • Objects
  • backgrounds
  • shapes
  • text and
  • upload (take files from your computer).

You can zoom in and out on a specific area of your infographic as well as add a grid for sizing and lining up items.  Thankfully there is an undo arrow.  Starting with Vhemes I had fifteen from which to choose.

When deciding which one to use you can mouse over and click making it pop up in the center; enlarge it by clicking on the symbol in the upper right-hand corner and delete it by clicking on the x in the lower right-hand corner.  To move it to your art board select and drag.  Each item on the vheme can be altered by a mouse click on it.

Under the Objects button are the following categories:  people, animals, banners, food, icons, landmarks, maps, music, nature, people and transportation.  There are 24 backgrounds which with a drag can change the entire infographic.  If you choose shapes, there is a selection of 34.  Picking text gives you the choice of title, header or body.

You can completely delete any text on the vheme, adding your own, by selecting it with a click.  A tool bar appears which features: delete, lock an item, bold, italic, underline, shadow, bring forward, send back, bring to the front, send to the back, opacity, color, font (19 styles) and size.  As stated before a double click allows you to change the wording.

Similar tool bars appear when other items are chosen on the vheme.  You can choose to alter or delete them.  When adding items (or altering existing items) please note they can be rotated to fit a design, sized and dragged to a desired position.

I highly recommend registering and logging in before starting an Easel.ly infographic.  I had a moment of panic upon completion of mine when it asked me to log in before I could save.  When I logged in, it opened a new window instead of going back to the created infographic.

When your infographic is saved you are asked to go back to the home page to view/share your creation.  By choosing view/share your options are: download or view in browser with a URL web link or HTML embed code.  At this point you can decide whether to make your visual private or public.

The hardest part of using Easel.ly for me was getting the scale right because I was trying to get the same amount of information into a smaller overall space, at least according to the art board on my screen.  Truthfully, you could not have an easier app to use (a few less options on the toolbar than Piktochart but more items for addition to your infographic).  I think the results are equally, if not more, appealing.  I give Easel.ly a prime spot in my virtual toolbox.

Here are the two infographics for comparison.  First is the Pikochart followed by the Easel.ly.


  1. I am going to test this out next week while our kiddos are on Spring Break.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Let me know what you think. I want to work with it some more myself. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.