Unlike my other tool, Infogr.am is pretty straight-forward and limited. The website itself tells that to users right away; it’s very blunt about its shortcomings. It’s supposed to make creating infographics a lot easier, which it does, but it fails in a few places, which I’ll detail in this review.
What can you do with this tool?
This tool creates infographics for purely online purposes. Users can choose from eight different preset layouts/color schemes. Charts, graphs, maps, videos, pictures, and text can be put into the infographic. You can directly input data into some of the charts and graphs, and it automatically generates it.
What kinds of stories is it good for?
I don’t see this tool being effective for very in-depth stories either, but it could be used to make a part of an in-depth story. I could see it being good for comparison stories and for creating a brief profile for a story.
How do you get started using it?
The website really doesn’t provide much help to users. Its FAQ is poorly designed and hard to navigate. However, I found this video tutorial that shows how to use the tool. For me, I kind of just messed around with the different features until I got it; it didn’t have too much of a learning curve.
How easy or hard is it?
It’s pretty easy to use. Like the creators said, it’s pretty limited, so I wouldn’t attempt any huge projects with it. For instance, if you wanted to embed a map, there are only two maps to choose from: a US and a world map. You can’t change the values of anything on the map; I’m not really sure what point they would serve unless you wanted to put a basic map into your infographic. All the limitations though make the program pretty easy to master.
What skills do you need to become proficient in it?
I think if you have a clear vision of what you want to put into your infographic, you don’t need too many skills because I think honing in exactly what you want is the hardest part. Decoding which data goes where though is definitely a much-needed skill.
Would you recommend this to a friend?
If they’re willing to experiment with the program and cope with its limitations.
Will you consider using it for your final data story?
I might! I could see making a comparison infographic to get across the data part of my story, but I would definitely need other components to complement it. I really dislike the limited map feature, and some of the graphs are hard to learn how to use. Additionally, I don’t like being restricted to the eight preset layouts. And, same with NewHive, users are fairly restricted by the fact that this tool is effective purely for online stories. Like you said in class, there’s no full-screen capability, which also limits the interactivity and immersive potential of the infographic. It was pretty fun to experiment with, though, so I could see myself using it.