Visually Inspire Communication

Create adaptive learning environments with your coworkers  – illustrate data with infographics and share a story with an interactive presentation.

Scenario #1: Create infographics using Piktochart
My objective is to make static documentation interactive. An infographic enriched with color, easy-to-follow data and hyperlinks to wiki content and videos or GIFs was the best choice.

Identify audience and the best way to present ideas to the user. How should users interact with the information? Determine what content to use; often times statistical data can be represented as charts or simple graphics. Keep in mind less is more, so chunk content with different colors or blocks to separate text like shown here:
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You want a natural flow of progression when reading the document. Try to make eye-popping designs with little distractions to esthetics. Incorporate themes, embed graphics, videos and map plugins to engage users. In the end, you will have an infographic that is dynamic, appealing and promotes communication throughout the organization.

Piktochart is a free application available for download on my native PC. This program enabled me to choose preloaded templates or start a project from scratch. I enjoyed the user-friendly interface.

Use Also: visual.ly, infogr.am, Snag-It

Scenario #2: Create interactive presentations using Intuilab
Think Powerpoint2.0. Business presentations are no longer boring slides with lame animation or remote clickers with lazer pointers. Instead, presentations are interactive and reinventing communication.

Convey a message by guiding your users through a digital experience that tells a story. Interact with the slides; maximize the screen, highlight, swipe and draw over images.
Deliver and collaborate amongst coworkers in the cloud. Build presentations and distribute across multiple platforms and devices.

Intuilab appealed to me because of its touch screen capabilities. I also was able to learn this software quickly providing “if, then” statements that replaced code. Pros: All access sandbox. Cons: Compatible only with Windows 7 & 8; HTML release by the end of 2013.

Use Also: swipe.to, prezi, mural.ly

Tools for Visual Learning

Visual language is associating words/ideas with diagrams and maps. We see this everyday from simple traffic signs to reading the safety card on an airline flight. But frankly, ‘visual language learning’ is being used to address different ways we process information. For example:

infographics
A way to illustrate complex processes. More importantly, you can show relationships between different pieces of information. In the infographic, each step could be hyperlinked to a wiki site with more detailed instructions. This would be perfect to integrate with help or tasked-based topics.

Infographics should be used in the same way that a screenshot is added to a user manual. Each visual should aid in the user’s understanding of a product or process. It should not deter from the objective of the task.

Mural.ly is an online mural, ‘Google Docs for visual people’ but it can be used to present information creatively while receiving real-time feedback. Great to instill communication within the organization on the development of a project.

Here is a minimalistic way Mural.ly uses their product for company branding.

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As a technical writer one of my responsibilities is to make suggestions to streamline documentation in an organization. Infographics depending on audience and context could be advantageous in creating effective deliverables.