Expert Review: Creatavist

What can you do with this tool? What kinds of stories is it good for?

Creatavist is a publishing platform that allows you to easily display stories with parallax scrolling. You can upload text, video, pictures, audio, and maps. You can also created timelines using dates included in your story. Creatavist is a great platform for creating long-form stories, stories with a strong narrative, or stories with a lot of different segments or chapters. It creates a very immersive storytelling experience that can be helpful for making longer stories more engaging, keeping the readers attention. It also allows you to include all elements of your story on one page, limiting the number of times a reader clicks away.

How do you get started using it? Link to tutorials or help docs or Lynda.com resources that are useful for learning this tool.

Creativist has an excellent help section on their site that takes you step by step through the process of creating your first project. To get started, you’ll want to have a solid body of text that you can either upload to Creativist or copy and paste into a dialogue box. Once you have a substantial story to tell, you’ll be able to take full advantage of Creativist’s capabilities. I highly suggest going through all of the help sections before starting your project. They are quick and easy to understand and reveal all of Creativist’s capabilities that you otherwise might miss out on. It’s also helpful to check out some examples of other stories that use Creatavist, to get an understanding for the kinds of stories you can tell.

How easy or hard is it? What skills do you need to become proficient in it?

Creatavist is very easy and user friendly. The creators of the program have made it very simple to upload work you have already done into a clean format. I don’t think you really need any special skills to use Creatavist, but you do need to have a compelling story as well as compelling multimedia elements to really take advantage of it. If you only have text, this probably isn’t the publishing platform for you. You also need good editorial skills to determine what looks good in this scrolling format, and which elements will resonate the best with readers.

Would you recommend this to a friend? Will you consider using it for your final data story?

I have already recommended this to  friends. Not only is it an easy way to make beautiful stories on the web, you can also publish your story as an app — for kindles, ibooks, etc. — an important ability in today’s world. I personally would love to use Creatavist for my final story. I think it’s an excellent way to gather all of your work in one place to tell a really compelling story. One thing I will say, is that I think to be really successful with Creatavist, you may need to also be proficient in other programs if you’re working with data. You can easily upload and embed in Creatavist, but it’s not a platform for creating visualizations.

 

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