Infographics for media: How to inform better using interactivity and animation

6 minutes
Written by: Javi Martínez

Hi! I’m Javi Martínez, Lead designer at Genially. I’m here to tell you about all the benefits Genially offers for creating infographics. I’m not just saying that because I work here… I used to work as a graphic designer for the news agency Europa Press, specializing in infographics, and guess what tool I used to use to make my infographics? Yep! Genially!

It was there that I first learned of and experienced all the advantages of Genially for creating infographics. And I’m talking about the Genially of 6 years ago! The tool has come a long way since then and is now even more impressive.

My work toolkit consisted of Genially and Photoshop; the combination of both meant I didn’t need any other tools. In fact, that is still the case. We spoke about how to use these tools together to make awesome things in this post about design programs.

Today we’re going to discover some interesting things about interactive infographics. I’ll also show you practical examples of how the media use infographics to engage their audiences and successfully communicate information.

Interactivity: turn information into an experience

Infographics have been used in the media since the 80s. They were already popular and successful in paper form. It’s a super practical format that’s perfect for communicating information or explaining complex concepts visually.

Online media allow us to get even more from infographics, in the same way as with other content formats. Since the dawn of the internet, there are 2 ways to communicate: traditional communication, the one that’s always been used, in which static content is used; and interactive visual communication. The internet allows us to make content interactive, which is an extremely effective way of engaging the audience and connecting with them.

Why wouldn’t we take advantage of all the benefits of digitalization? It’s not just about using new online channels, but also adapting the content to the new reality.

Adding interactivity allows you to prioritize the information and put the secondary content in a second layer that’s only visible to those who are interested and choose to dig deeper.

Infographic creators can produce very visual designs that capture the audience’s attention, and enrich the content with information in different formats. The audience can obtain additional information at their own pace and delve into the details that interest them.

This way, communication becomes an experience. The audience actively explores the content, and this exploration is what our brains enjoy.

By nature, people prefer visual and interactive communication that’s based on exploration. Static content bores us. We need content that surprises us and piques our curiosity; just the type of content you can create with Genially.  Check out the examples below.

6 benefits of Genially for creating infographics for the media

Here are the practical benefits I found when using Genially to create infographics:

1. Deep dive into data

The first of these possibilities is being able to delve into the content without losing the visual appearance of the design.

Take a look at the infographic below which was published in this article in the Spanish newspaper El País. In it we see the team line-up and some players are highlighted with colors that each have a meaning. Thus far, it’s a static infographic, where the information is seen all at once. But, if you click on the interactive icons, you can expand the information about these highlighted players.

This way, you avoid overloading the design. Only those who are interested will click to find the information that’s hidden beneath the interactive icons.

These calendars are very practical for displaying back-to-school dates in different states or communities, important billing or tax return dates for companies, political events, etc. With Genially you can turn flat content into an interactive experience in just a few clicks.

Some might think that Genially is a tool for people who don’t know about design, and that’s not the case! Genially allows you to strengthen your designs because you can create your resources (in this case, your calendar) and add interactivity and animations super easily. As I explained in this post, Genially and your favorite design programs are a match made in heaven.

2. Guided tour effect

This effect is great for when you need to put a lot of content in an infographic. In Genially, you can add as many slides as you need, and achieve a creation that’s easy to navigate, in such a way that the audience doesn’t have to scroll.

You can use your storytelling skills and turn this navigation experience into a visual narrative like the example you see below. The audience’s experience will be much more entertaining, just like this spectacular infographic that illustrates this article on La Tercera.

You might also like: Data visualization: How to turn data into simple and inviting information

3. Instant updates

Sometimes agencies receive news very fast but at first we have very little information; for example, in the case of an attack or accident. If you use Genially, you can create the infographic with the information you have in the moment, upload it to the website, and as more information comes in you can add it bit by bit. That’s what happened with this story on the Aragon Herald.

One of the advantages of Genially is that once you embed your creation, you can update it as many times as you need without altering the embed code

A genially can also be inserted in a social media post, and the latest version will always be displayed. If you embed your creation in a tweet, for example, the interactivity and animation will continue to work and the information will update automatically.

This has another important and practical use: as well as adding new content, it allows you to correct any typos etc. without having to pester the editing team or social media manager. Just edit your genially and it’s all taken care of!

4. Animations and GIFs

Another of Genially’s strong suits is the animation. You don’t need an external program to make animated videos. Of course, you can make your own animations with Photoshop or After Effects… but this will take you longer and requires more effort.

Check out this example created with automatic play mode in Genially. You can embed it in a website on loop and the audience can watch it or stop it when they want, like this example published on the sports website Marca.

I used this kind of content a lot to create GIFs for important anniversaries or football results. I’d design the resources in Photoshop, upload them to Genially in layers and animate them separately using Genially’s animations. Then I’d record the screen and I had a GIF!

And, speaking from experience, when a tweet includes a GIF, it gets a lot more retweets.

5. Attribution: don’t get lost!

Imagine one of your infographics goes viral. What tends to happen when it’s shared over and over all across social media is that the original link gets lost.

Infographics should always be signed by the creator. In Genially, as well as showing the audience who the infographic belongs to, you can add a link to the agency logo which leads to the original news story, to the source, or to a social media profile.

This helps respect and maintain attribution, makes sure your newspaper gets the recognition, and of course, gets visits to the website and social profiles.

6. Gamification for the win

If we’re talking about content that piques curiosity and engages the audience, gamification takes the cake. I love creating gamified infographics! The fact that the audience can explore and play with the infographic means there are endless possibilities; if it’s interaction you’re after, this is the real deal. What do you think of this example published in El Diario?

Be honest; you couldn’t resist checking all the gifts, could you? 

If you create infographics for the media, interactive visual communication allows you to communicate more information more effectively in less space. What’s more, as you’ve seen in the examples above, it’s much easier to engage the audience with interactive experiences. Get the most out of your infographics!

Javi Martínez
Javi Martínez
I am because we are
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