How my mother learned to create her first genially

5 minutes
Written by: Marina López

The question ‘Where do you work?’ has always been a tricky one for me for some reason. Most normal people are generally satisfied with the response that I work online, which is basically about as specific as saying I work on Planet Earth. But when I started at Genially there was one person for whom that vague answer simply wouldn’t cut it: my Mother, Almudena.

To give you a bit of context, because not all moms are like my mom: Almu is a modern woman, but deeply analogical. She also wears this fact like a badge of honor. She has a little notebook where she writes everything down: tasks, notes, phone numbers… everything. For her, Venmo might as well be the name of an extinct species that never got on board Noah’s ark. She ignores all updates her phone suggests. You get the idea.

Following the difficulty I had in explaining what Genially is to my lovely mother, I decided to write this post: a guide that will be most useful to you if you too should find yourself in the position of needing to explain what Genially is to someone who is also, shall we say, uninclined to grasp the latest technological concepts.

Geniall… what?

Genially is a platform for creating all kinds of digital, interactive, and animated content: maps, games, presentations, infographics, guides… whatever you want! And, it’s free.

My mother generally shies away from anything digital, but when I told her she could use the tool to make resumes, presentations, and business cards, her sweet little boomer face lit right up. Turns out she needed to make a presentation for the yoga masters she’s studying. The offer of a coffee and several cookies then sealed the deal and got her sitting in front of the computer, ready and willing to give it a shot.

One of the most persuasive points of my argument was the automatic save feature, because poor Almu sometimes forgets to save changes regularly and when she uses the computer she’s always tense with the anxiety that everything she has worked on and invested so much time in will suddenly be erased.

Choose a canvas: Uncharted territory

Once I’d created an account for my mom on the platform, we got down to work. The first thing she said to me was: ‘Oh, you’re right, it does have everything’. The reason behind this bold sweeping statement was the first screen she was met with when she logged in, where she could choose from all kinds of different formats to create content from scratch or using a template. 

Of the more than 3,000 templates that exist on the platform, my mom opted for a video-presentation to introduce herself: ‘That way I can make a good first impression with this cute template’, she said. 

She chose this funky template, because ‘psychedelia is her thing’. You tell ‘em, mom: 

Edit to your liking: Creativity for the win

It has to be said, my mother is quite the stylish woman. For her, style is a way of life. That’s why adapting the template to her tastes was of vital importance, even for her first creation.

She changed sizes to fit everything she wanted to tell, edited texts, added fonts that she thought were ‘cuter’, and chose some ‘funkier’ colors. She uploaded GIFs and images (she is a recent convert to GIFs and gets a great kick out of them). She found tons of resources in the tool that helped her tell her story. And she did it all on her own. ‘Wow, this is really easy,’ she remarked in surprise as she took another bite of her fifteenth cookie. 

Interactivity and animation: A thing of beauty

There was one concept that Almu had a hard time with from the off: interactivity

Thanks to this post, I knew just how to explain it to her: ‘Interactivity is the response that a digital device gives to the actions of the person using it’. In other words, what allows you to browse a website, use Facebook, for example, or play a video game’. 

Although at first it seemed like witchcraft to her, she soon started adding some alluring interactivity so that everyone who saw her creation could explore it at the click of a button and discover new things about it: a link to explain the characteristics of her zodiac sign, tooltips to add comments to the images… With the interactive elements, it was a piece of cake (and 3 more cookies). 

She also added animations, to capture attention with movement and make the template more ‘stylish’. You know how she is. 

Add videos and audio, and all that jazz

Fuelled by cookies and all the potential she was now seeing in her genially, my mom was really getting into it. Now she didn’t just want it to have movement, she wanted to add music, lights, videos, and all sorts to reel in her audience. Go hard or go home and all that. What she didn’t know yet was that with Genially, everything is possible.

With the tool you can add audio, video, and any content from other web platforms. This way, all the external content she wanted to present was housed within the genially itself. My mother decided to include her favorite song and the trailer of her favorite movie in her creation. 

She also wanted to include a video of last year’s family vacations, but I managed to convince her not to. You’re welcome.

Publish, share, sit back and wait for the Oscar

We’d reached the final stretch of this beautiful process and my mom was ecstatic because everything was coming up roses. And to her, a person of limited patience for the digital world, not getting frustrated while creating something ‘cool’ seemed a ‘fantastic result’.

When you’re ready to show your genially to the world, it can be shared with whomever you want and however you want. You can publish it on social media with the link, insert it on a website, send it via email or, as my mother chose to do: send it by WhatsApp to my dad (‘he’ll love it!’), and prepare to show it in class the next day. 

And so, without further ado, the moment you’ve all been waiting for (drum roll)… I leave you with my mother, Almudena’s first genially presentation!

Has your mom tried using Genially? Why not sit down with her and a few dozen of her favorite sweet treats and have a nice creative evening together? And be sure to tell us whatever tricks you used to explain it to her in the comments below.

Marina López
Marina López
Writing works as a fight against chaos. Virginie Despentes
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