How to create your own interactive images

7 minutes
Written by: Aili

An image is worth a thousand words, but an interactive image is worth even more ?

Interactive images have tremendous potential to improve communication: They allow a story to be told in a visual, creative, and innovative way. They are perhaps the most effective digital content format for engaging your audience.

You can use them to create corporate content, training resources, or to communicate any idea, and you can share them in different ways, including inserting your interactive image into WordPress.

To help you get started, we’ll show you how to create an interactive image, and explain the options you have for sharing them. We’ll also show you some inspiring examples to help you get the most out of interactive images.

Static images vs interactive images: What is the difference?

Differences between static images and interactive images

Static ImagesInteractive Images
They have one layer of information, the one you seeThey have different layers of information
They’re flatThey’re enriched with other types of content such as videos, maps, graphs, etc.
They’re illustrativeThey’re functional
They convey a messageThey tell a story
They are a one-way communication resourceYou need to get involved with the interactive image to see all the content
They’re passiveThey encourage exploration and memorization

How do you make them?

Creating interactive images with Genially is simple: You don’t need to be an expert in design, nor do you need to know anything about programming. You only need three steps to create your interactive image:

  • Place a base image as the canvas background
  • Add the interactive elements you want to use
  • Make each element interactive!

To get the most out of interactive images, it’s best to use a base or background image that has value on its own, either because it is eye-catching or because it illustrates an aspect of what you want to convey. This way, when you add information to it, you’ll make it even more interesting and engaging for your audience.

With Genially, you’ll find a ton of interactive elements to add to your images. There’s something for everyone! Look over all the options to choose the one that best suits what you need to communicate: bookmarks, buttons, … you can add as many as you want!

Interactivity allows you to add all kinds of information: videos, other photos, links to websites, GIFs, your social media profiles, or any content you can think of. In this way, information is spread throughout multiple layers and your audience will discover it as they interact with the image.

You can also add animation effects to the elements. Animation is very effective in capturing the attention and interest of your audience – it multiplies the potential of interactivity. It’s almost impossible to resist clicking!

Can you think of any ideas for how to use these effective resources?  Keep reading to see examples that might help inspire you.

6 Examples of interactive images

Interactive images are applicable to any field: education, marketing, communication, design, and training. You can get results as amazing as these:

Informative poster

This resource is useful for generating informational content or storytelling. Choose a base image that helps you convey your message by telling a story, highlighting a fun fact, or bringing attention to a given detail.

Educational poster

This is an excellent resource for learning because while you’re making it, you research and memorize information along the way. It’s a great way to study because creating the chart helps you remember the information you’re adding. It also works very well as an educational resource. A visually impactful image will effectively capture the attention of students. 


With an advertisement, you can draw attention to a particular product or service. Best of all, you can link the content so it takes you directly to a website where you can get a better understanding of the product or service, or even make a purchase!

In this way, with just a simple image and some data it’s easy to use interactive content to attract your customers and meet the goals of your advertising or marketing campaign.

 Educational image

It’s impossible to know everything; there are always new things to learn! Why not make an image that inspires your audience to be curious? Interactivity stimulates learning.

Interactive catalog

You can create your own interactive catalog and add extra information to each item, such as where to buy it or what it is made of. Just include what you want in a tooltip or window: a map, a video, a brief description, etc.

Interactive GIF

Animated GIFs appeal to almost any audience and are fun and effective in capturing attention thanks to their movement. By adding interactivity to this format, you can explore new creative possibilities and maximize engagement for your audience.

Want to try it? You’re sure to get amazing results with your interactive images!

Create your interactive image with Genially

Let’s look at an example: We’ll turn this picture of the Great Wall of China into a cool interactive image. It’s recommended to prepare what you will add to your image before you start: text, videos, photos, maps, etc.  It will be much easier if you have a document or folder with all the information at hand.

Not familiar with Genially yet? Watch this tutorial!

The first thing you’ll need to do is select a base image. In the “Create Interactive Image” section, you have the option to upload an image from your computer, paste a URL, or choose an image from Unsplash without leaving Genially.

In the Genially Editor menu, there is a section devoted entirely to interactive elements. Choose the ones you like best! An interactive element is simply a composition of icons and shapes that serves to indicate an action. Interactive elements are also customizable; you can change their color and size. 

How do you add interactivity to the elements in your interactive image?

When you select the item you want to make interactive, two icons will appear above it. The hand is for interactivity. Clicking on it will open a menu where you can choose the type of interactivity.

types of interactivity in genially

Depending on the type of content you want to add, you’ll want to select one type of interactivity or another. Here are the 4 types of interactivity that Genially offers:

  • Tooltips: Tooltips are used to display short content. They are activated when the mouse hovers over the item and disappear when the mouse is moved away. It’s recommended that the text in a tooltip does not exceed 300 characters. If you need more, choose a window. 
  • Windows: Windows are used for larger amounts of content than tooltips. However, we recommend that you avoid using very large amounts of text in windows and tooltips. Windows are activated by clicking on the interactive element. Windows allow you to enrich your interactive image by adding any format of content: PDFs, videos, text, etc.
  • Go to page: This function allows you to take your audience to another page within the same genially. This allows you to supplement the information in the image with additional content that your audience can view without leaving the image.
  • Link: This function allows you to link any external site to your creation. You can add the URL of your blog or website or any other page you want.

Complete your interactive image

Want to add more explanations or highlight other points of interest of the image? Go back to the “interactive elements” section and add as many as you want.

Another way to add interactivity is to use the “invisible area” element. This allows you to add interactivity to any area of the image. To do this, simply drag the invisible area onto the canvas and place it in the area you want to make interactive. You can change the size to suit your needs.

Your interactive image is ready!

Share your creation!

Once published, it’s time to share your interactive image with your audience by using the “Share” button (located in the horizontal toolbar). One awesome advantage is that all the information in your interactive image is contained in a link, which will make it much easier to share across multiple platforms.

Genially’s free version offers you five options to share your creation without losing animation or interactivity:

  • Access link (url)
  • Code to embed it on your blog or website
  • Send by email
  • Share on social media
  • Share via Google Classroom or Microsoft Teams 

And if you have a premium plan, you can download your creation in several formats, but I recommend HTML if you want to keep interactivity and animation: they remain even if you don’t have an internet connection.

Now you can start creating an interactive image that will leave your audience amazed. Start bringing your content to life!

Edtech and music enthusiast
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One Response

  1. Hi, just wondering for the pro subscription, am I able to download the interactive images and will they be interactive if I post on social media and on my website? If so, what file format will it be downloaded as?


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