Information, Visuals, and Collecting Data: An Interview With Max Galka (Part 1)

We at recently spoke to Max Galka, an entrepreneur and blogger whose main focus is on the world of data. Galka is known across the Interwebs as a data visualization genius as well as a data pioneer, working on projects that visualize information in truly colorful ways. His latest project, Blueshift, focuses on creating interactive, data-driven maps. He has started a number of other projects, including FOIA Mapper and Metrocosm, which emphasize the importance of data, our access to it, and how we can use it.

image02 reached out to Max to talk about the latest trends in data and, of course, how people can use infographics to share the data they find or collect online. His insights are helpful for anyone who trying to track data to grow their business, explore their industry, or just learn something new!

Because he was such a wealth of information, we’ve split this post into two parts and we also will be following it up with a webinar! We hope you find his insights helpful – we sure did!

The Expansion of Data

We’ve always had data as human beings – in the form of our written records, books, and newspapers. But did you know that only 6% of all data comes from these sources? The other 94% of data is all digital. It is also projected that about 90% of all data available has been created and stored digitally within the past 3 years, with about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data being made each and every day. Because of this, it’s easy to see why we are hearing so much about data lately, including terms like “Big Data,” data visualization, and data collection.

Not sure what “Big Data” really is, even though you’ve heard the term a lot? Big Data is defined as “extremely large data sets that may be analyzed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behavior and interactions.” Other definitions include, “Information that can be ‘mined’ or explored to give insights into people and trends,” or “The intersection between capitalism and information.” In essence, though, Big Data is being used to help businesses, organizers, and educators understand the world around them and put that information into practice to improve systems, processes, and sometimes even sales.

What Do We Do With Data?

Many companies, entrepreneurs, and organizations are sitting up and taking notice of “Big Data” and how it illustrates complex systems like the economy, buying trends, and business growth in general. While corporations and organizations actively use data to explore their customer base, understand trends, and institute changes, data is important in virtually every arena of modern life. Understanding health care, tracking political polls, evaluating the economy, surveying audiences, and even quantifying test scores – these are all ways of collecting data. But what do we do with data once we’ve collected it?  

People like Max Galka are predominant in the field of data visualization, which gives us a way to turn complex (and sometimes boring) data into images and graphics that can be used by anyone. Galka and other data collectors focus on creating graphics, images, and animations that make it incredibly easy for everyone to understand the data provided so that it can be used and evaluated to create change, increase engagement and, most of all, inform.


Pictured above is Galka’s interactive visualization of the cost of housing the US by state and county. While a list of average price per square footage would get the point across and probably be more simple to generate, it’s much less engaging and harder for us to comprehend in “the grander scheme of things.” This is a great example of what data visualization can do for an average individual – not just businesses or economists.

Visualizations VS. Infographics
Data visualizations (like Galka’s interactive maps) and infographics are on the rise everyday. In fact, the number of infographics created increases by 1% every day and data visualization searches on Google have increased by 50% since 2011. Wondering what the difference is? Galka explains:

In my view, data visualization generically refers to any graphic (map, chart, graph, etc) in any format (image, video, 3D model, etc) that communicates data. An infographic is an image that contains one or more data visualizations relating to a particular topic, often with other design components mixed in (photos, drawings, explanatory text, etc).

When Galka was asked, “Why do you think there is such an increase in the amount of data visualization we see today?” he explained:

I see two big reasons. First, the sheer amount of data available has grown exponentially over the last few years, and there is a growing need for ways of interpreting all of it. Likewise, the last few years have seen a quantum leap forward in web-based graphics technology. Most of the graphics I post would not have been possible just five years ago. The data was not available then and neither were the tools I use to visualize it.

As we’ve talked a lot about on the blog, visuals are becoming the most popular content on the Internet, and they help people learn faster than simply reading statistics or listening to a lecture. Visuals are King in this fast-paced, content-hungry world. But what does data visualization have to do with you, your business, or your classroom?

How You Can Visualize Your Own Data (and Why)

We can think of countless reasons to visualize data that you find or collect on your own. Whether you’re a teacher who wants to share statistics with your students, a small business owner who wants to map your audience’s response to your latest marketing campaign, or a massive corporation tracking sales and trends in different regions, data can help. It doesn’t have to just be for personal or internal use, either. This is where data visualizations and infographics intersect.

While Galka explains that data visualizations generally explore only one point of data, infographics can combine multiple data sets into a really engaging, usable infographic. Take, for example, the data visualizations below:

The world’s population 2015:


The average age across the world:


How the working age is changing:


How many people are employed across the world:


All of the data visualizations above show a single facet of data based on one specific point – the population, the average age, the average working age, and the average employment rates worldwide respectively. Now take all that information, which may or may not appeal to you in it’s “raw” form, and put it into an infographic about the future of our world’s economy and the next generation of workers and leaders.


While obviously other information was inserted into the infographic above, it makes the point: data visualizations are generally created based on one “stream” of data, while infographics compile multiple streams to create a cohesive representation of the broader topic.

What Data Means To You

What does all this mean for you, your classroom, your business, or your nonprofit organization? It means that you should jump on the bandwagon already! Collect data, whether from online resources or from your own samples, testing, and/or surveys. Create singular data visualizations like Max Galka’s, or create infographics that explain your subject, your product, or your campaign in cohesive, data-based findings.

Visuals are consumed more than any other type of content online – you can write about your poll findings or the latest statistics in your field all you want, but people want to see them. People are able to learn up to 400% better when you integrate visuals like infographics, visuals are 67% more persuasive than words alone, and visuals trigger the emotional centers of the brain better than the other senses. This means that your audience is going to learn more from you, be persuaded to “convert” (if you’re a business), and also trust you more.

In a nutshell: If you want to make a point with the facts while also appealing to your audience – whoever that is – start visualizing data today.
Are you wondering how to even find or collect data, or how to make a visual representation of what you find? Stay tuned for Part 2 of our interview with Max Galka!

One Trick to Maintain (and Win!) Email Subscribers

One Trick to Maintain (and Win!) Email Subscribers

Is your email marketing campaign feeling a little stagnant? Do you have a high unsubscribe rate, or just lacking subscribers in the first place? Every campaign goes through its ups and downs naturally, but in order to start retaining your email subscribers and converting more than ever before, there’s one vital tool you may be leaving out: infographics.


Why Use Infographics in Your Emails?

What are your email open rates? How many people click-through your emails to landing pages and links you have embedded in your emails? How many sales come as a result of your email campaign efforts? All of this data will show you why you need infographics, so make sure you’re gathering the info you need!

The cold hard facts:

The average open rate for an email can range from 15 to 25%, depending on the size of a business’s following and the niche market they are situated in. To make things worse, 34% of subscribers will mark your emails as spam if you don’t hit the target in your campaigns. And, as you’ve probably heard us mention from time-to-time, the average human attention span is now only 8 seconds – less than a goldfish!

If you’ve only got 15-25% of your subscribers even opening your emails and another third potentially marking them as spam… What are you going to do to keep subscribers from opening, scrolling through, and then deleting your emails before they can even register what you’ve got to say? Catch their eye!

Infographics Get the Message Across Faster and More Effectively

Your emails are meant to pass along vital information about your message, brand, service, or product to your audience. They’re also designed to get more interaction, more conversions, and even more sales for your business. But instead of typing long-form emails (which don’t get read), why not insert some of that information into an infographic?

When you use infographics instead of pages and paragraphs of text in your email campaign, you’re:

  • Engaging your readers’ eyesEye tracking studies indicate that subscribers skip the intro and most of the smaller text in your emails, scanning for only what is most relevant to them.


  • Encouraging action – Subscribers are more persuaded by clear, relevant visuals and Calls to Action in lieu of straight text.


  • Breaking it down – People want to get the jist of your message without having to process through your story, your data, or your bad jokes (sorry).


To top that off all, infographics are the fastest way to get people to remember what you’ve shared in your email.

Infographics are:

So really, it’s no wonder that your long form, non-visual emails aren’t exactly hitting it out of the park with your subscribers. But where you do you go from here?

Things to Keep in Mind When Using Infographics in Your Emails

Content marketers are known for creating massive amounts of content and then inundating their audience with it. Don’t make their mistakes! While it can be great to have a plethora of infographics to use in your email marketing, you also need to focus on three things:

Finally, it’s time to start using infographics in your email campaign!

Ideas for Your Email Campaign

Are you seeing a decrease in subscribers or having trouble finding subscribers? Sorry to break it to you, but the finicky thing about your audience is that they actually have taste. If you’re overdoing it, or you’re letting subpar quality content slip through the cracks, they’re going to start noticing. The most important tip for using infographics in emails? Make sure they’re necessary.

Now, if you’re at a loss for how to incorporate infographics into your email marketing campaigns, consider:

  • Turning a long-form email into an infographic


  • Highlighting points in your email with your own data


  • Creating a signup infographic


Parting Wisdom

Generally speaking, you can play around with what works best with your subscribers. Odds are, they’ll start interacting with you as soon as you start utilizing this awesome tool. But don’t overdo it with the images, and keep them in the wheelhouse of your brand (use logos, color schemes, fonts, etc. that are synonymous with your brand).

If you’re worried that infographics are “too difficult” or might not translate well in email, remember that people seek out infographics all the time – 800% more than they did in 2012! Infographics are also way easier than long form writing or creating a video, and more useable to boot. Infographics don’t require embed codes to “play” and they’re great for mobile email, as opposed to video, which can be hard to embed into the body of your email and may not load.

Ready to grow your email list and your business? Get started making great infographics from scratch, or use our templates to get you going!

Then let us know how it’s working for you on Facebook or Twitter!

Webinars and Infographics: Engage and Educate While Growing Your Brand

Webinars and Infographics: Engage and Educate Your Attendees

In today’s highly visual and content-driven world, it’s no wonder that webinars are becoming hotbeds of online activity. Corporations use webinars to teach their employees or to inform the community at large. Small businesses and entrepreneurs use webinars to market themselves and their ideas to a (hopefully) broader audience. Generally, if you’ve got something to share with the world and you believe that your audience will get value from what you have to share, webinars are a great idea.image04

But when your audience is just staring at your beautiful face on the screen, what are the odds that they’re actually retaining what you’re saying? What if they’re distracted by the lovely picture on the wall behind you, or the sounds of the cafe you’re in?

If you want people to actually get something out of your webinar (other than the screams of children or the fact that you have a great office), try incorporating visuals that allow your audience to focus on what’s important.


Infographics for Better Webinars

Did you know that the brain processes images 60,000 times faster than it processes written text? People who only hear information also have a much harder time recalling that information later. You actually want people to remember what you had to say in your webinar, right? So instead of typing out bullet points or just talking to your webinar audience, try visuals like infographics. We even did it in our latest interview with Jessica Hagy and it worked out great!

Not only do infographics and visuals help your audience retain information, but they also:

  • Engage – The average attention span is now only 8 seconds!


It only takes 13 milliseconds for brains to process an image, which is much shorter than 8 seconds! Why not cut to the chase and grab your audience’s attention right off the bat?

  • Educate – Color images have been found to help people absorb 82% of information!


Most people only recall about 10% of what they hear 3 days later. Do you want your audience to only remember 10% of what you’re saying in your webinar?

  • Increase trust – With simple images and proper design schemes, your audience is scientifically more likely to trust your message!

Well-designed infographics with quality information will help your audience see you as an authority, which makes them more likely to believe what you’re saying and buy your services or goods.

Visuals like infographics have also proven to increase action, generate more leads, and result in more conversions. But how?

How to Make a Webinar that Will Grow Your Brand

Marketers and entrepreneurs obviously use webinars because they work, but how exactly can you maximize your ROI when creating and running a webinar? Using infographics is a great place to start. Infographics are cheap and fairly easy to make with’s infographic creation tool, and are simple to add into your webinar demonstration.

But in order to maximize your audience’s reaction to the infographics, make sure to:

  • Maximize the visual component


This means NOT typing out all your notes and inserting it into a slide. It means finding images or symbols that represent your points and then expanding on those points with minimal text.

When creating infographics for your webinar, keep it visual! Also think about:

    • What visuals, colors, or fonts your audience would find most engaging.
    • Keeping it simple – people can go way overboard designing infographics that distract rather than educate!
  • Include a Call to Action


Images with Calls to Action are going to make people move. Whether you want people to focus on:

    • Writing something down (taking notes)
    • Their emotional response (like the image above)
    • Visiting a web page, booking your services, buying your product

CTAs are vital in making engaging webinar infographics. Without them, people will think, “That’s nice, but I don’t have to do anything about it.” Give them a reason to do something!

  • Information is great, but don’t forget the pitch!


Webinars and infographics are both designed to provide information in visual ways. Obviously, both forms of content should be relevant, helpful, and actionable. But you and your business are providing this information, so don’t forget to bring it back to your products, services, or website.

In all of your infographics within your webinar, make sure you:

    • Use consistent color schemes, logos, watermarks, etc. to remind viewers who is putting on the webinar
    • Link to your website if possible
    • Quote yourself, use your own data, etc.

Also make sure to include a few infographics that have:

    • Distinct Calls to Action – “Follow me on Twitter!” or “Sign up here for my newsletter for more information on the next webinar!”
    • Promotions – “Webinar viewers get 10% off today only on our website with this code!”

Now that you know how you can use infographics in your webinar (and how they’ll benefit you), you’re probably wondering exactly how to create a webinar with visuals.

How Do You Incorporate Infographics into Your Webinars?

While many people think infographics are complicated, expensive images that they have to buy from a graphic designer, the truth is that you can make infographics simply and affordably. Once you’ve created infographics that are relevant, simple, and engaging, you can use them in your webinar!

You can insert these images into a slideshow, whether PowerPoint or Google Slides, and create an awesome visual presentation for your webinar! (There are plenty of other programs that you can create webinar slides in, but these two are the classics.) Then, simply share your screen during the webinar and put your slides in Presentation mode. Voila!

Don’t Leave the Infographics in the Webinar!

The thing that really makes infographics amazing, though – aside from using them in your rockin’ webinar – is that they’re not limited to just the webinar!

You can use the infographics you create for your webinar in multiple ways, in multiple places, and for as long as you still need the content! Infographics:

  • Make great saveable and printable resources!


Include your infographics in your resources or show notes to let people save, share, and continue to learn from your content!

  • Help you advertise your webinar


Create advertisements, landing pages, and marketing materials with a few of your best infographics. Not only will people be more drawn to your ads, but it creates brand cohesion when you have consistent images, colors, and content across platforms!

  • Let people share your webinar across social media

Let your audience advertise for you! Share links to your sign-up page, webinar recordings, or landing page with your infographics as social media thumbnails. Don’t just limit it to Twitter or Facebook, either! Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr; they are all great places to post your infographics.


Jump on the Infographic Bandwagon (Before It’s Too Late)

Jump on the Infographic Bandwagon (Before It’s Too Late)

If you’re responsible for any type of content marketing, whether it’s for a small dental practice, a large marketing firm, or anything in between, odds are you know the power that visuals have. We all use thumbnail images, blog header images, and graphics scattered throughout our emails or blog posts. But infographics have a special impact on your marketing efforts, making them an invaluable resource.

And yet, you’re probably reading this, thinking: “I don’t really want to spend that much time/effort/money on creating an infographic. I don’t think they are that important.” There is no denying that creating a worthwhile infographic takes time, planning, and care, but the difficulty drastically decreases as you learn. Of course, the variety of infographic creation tools available makes it easy to create infographics on a budget and without any graphic design background. You’d be surprised at how naturally infographic creation comes when you sit down and try.

But why do you need to use infographics? What are you missing out on?

The Proof is in the Pudding

There are virtually countless case studies out there showing how much infographics have:

  • Increased leads and conversions (subscriptions, followers, even sales)
  • Increased web traffic (a great bonus if your site is monetized)
  • Increased social media shares / visibility
  • Boosted product / business launches beyond expectation
  • Simplified a business’s content marketing efforts


Essentially, for minimal investment, you’re going to see massive returns and growth that you can’t see from other types of content marketing. And the best part? Infographics are highly versatile.

One single infographic (which takes you maybe an hour or two to create) can be used in:

  • Social media thumbnails
  • Unique social media platforms that cater to images
    • Tumblr
    • Instagram
    • Pinterest
    • Snapchat
  • Blog headers or images inside the blog itself
  • Whitepapers
  • Web copy
  • Ebooks
  • Print advertising materials
  • Online advertising
  • Email marketing
  • Free promotional materials and handouts

Name one other form of content that is so adaptable. Don’t worry, we’ll wait…

Even video, which is becoming a hot commodity these days, cannot be used for the majority of these content delivery systems! And the best part is that you can use the same infographic over and over again. The time, effort, and/or money you place in creating these infographics establishes a “one-and-done” content creation process.

Using the same infographic across these content delivery systems also allows you to:

  • Test which platforms get the most response to your infographics
  • Develop brand unity
  • Provide consistent information to your audience, no matter where you reach them
  • Play with ideas, styles, information, and format in your infographics to see what works

In the current climate, you won’t see a content marketing tool that provides better ROI than infographics. Unfortunately for you, though, more and more people are getting on this bandwagon.

Get Started Today – or Lose Out

Did you know that the number of infographics on the Internet increases by 1% every single day? That’s a staggering amount of infographics, and one that is concerning to any content marketer worth his or her salt.

The reality is that the more content that is created in one format, the more any message gets drowned out. Look at the history of blogs. In the mid-2000’s, having a blog was a unique prospect, and it meant you had something to say to a very willing and ready audience. Now, having a blog usually means that you have a brand, business, product, or service that you’re trying to promote, and a blog gets you foot traffic.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of great blogs out there, though. There definitely are. What this does mean is that the people who were established before everyone and their dog had a blog are the ones who still have the most loyal followings, and are the ones who have people sharing their content day-by-day. How does this translate into infographics?

Well, the more people who create infographics, the less an audience is going to be able to hear your message over the din. We already experience content overload daily, and with 60% of marketers producing at least one piece of content daily, it stands to reason that, eventually, infographics will become the new blogs.

The idea is to get in on the ground floor; be a visual content marketing innovator. Spend time creating relevant infographics, make them great, and share them everywhere you can. This way, when everyone realizes what you’re up to (and how much it works), you’ll already have an established infographic content platform, and your “competitors” won’t be able to touch the content you provide.


Ready? Set? Create!

The beauty of today’s technology is that you can create an infographic using just about any platform available. Many are free or downright cheap, and can help you get started creating infographics that will set you apart from the crowd today. Your content marketing campaign will always be there, sure, but with infographics you can cut through the drudgery and get right to the issue at hand – sharing your message with your audience.

You don’t want to watch your competitors take their place at the top, do you? Beat them to the punch, and jump on the bandwagon while it’s still got room!

Audience Polls = Data Driven Business

Audience Polls = Data Driven Infographics

One of the hardest parts about owning your own business (or starting one from scratch) is knowing what your audience wants. Of course, we’re not all clairvoyants, so maybe we should stop guessing and start asking. Polling your customers or audience can go a long way in not only giving you the data and answers you need, but building support from your community. In an ideal world, we provide the products and services that our customers are willing to pay for without wasting our time or energy on things they don’t want. That process starts with collecting data.

How to Poll Your Customer Base

At the thought of polling, the image of voting tickets and counting ballots might come to mind, but that’s not the only way to collect information today. A poll can take many forms, and can also depend on the size of your business or operation.


If you’re in startup mode and trying to hammer down your exact audience, polling could take the form of emailing your contacts to gauge interest in your specific product. If you’re in launch mode, polling could be seeing how many pre-orders you can collect on your online store. If you’re trying to expand, asking your audience on social media “Which location should we move to next?” could be a great option.

You can send email satisfaction surveys, asking “How much did you enjoy your last order?” or “How likely would you be to recommend us to a friend?” Asking questions about your customers’ or audience’s preferences, their results with a specific product, or what they enjoy most about your services or products will help you a lot.

On the upside, polling your audience has never been easier, with email campaign software, Twitter polls, survey software, and tons more. But are you wondering why anybody would want to respond to a poll? After all, people are too busy to take time out of their day to answer a few questions, right?

Your Audience Will Respond to Polling

We all try to avoid doing a favor for someone without any hope of a return; it’s human nature. So why would you expect your audience or customer base to respond to a few questions that help you and not them? Because you’re providing a service or product that they are paying for, and they will want that product or service to be the best it can be. Also note that if customers love anything, it’s being heard.


Customers who feel heard and who feel that their opinions are being taken into account are more likely to support a brand or business. Asking customers questions about their experience, or even personalizing your service based on what they’ve said they want, can increase your sales, help your business expand, and will create a loyal customer base.

But why the polls? Why not just ask questions from individual customers and see what happens? Because you can take the information from your polls, collect it easily, implement the findings, and even create some awesome data visualizations that you can use for marketing and internal education purposes. Put simply, you can make pretty infographics with the data you collect!

Why Turn Your Data into Visuals?

You’re probably thinking, “I’m not going to make an infographic out of my customer poll. I’m just going to use the information to help me grow my business!” – and that’s a great thing to do. But when you take a set of data and put it into a visual like an infographic, you can also use that data as a marketing tool, for employee training, in investor materials, and even to position yourself as an authority in your area! How?

Take this infographic below. This company polled their audience on these questions, but then created an infographic that is useful for a number of other companies and audiences. Why would you waste your time, money, and energy on polling if it benefits other people, too?


The answer is twofold:

  1. You can embed links back to your landing page. This means that when your image gets shared, you’re actually going to get traffic as people click-through. Bonus!
  2. People are going to see your business or brand as an authority on this customer experience topic and search your content for more information. This leads to a larger audience, more conversions, and a growing business!

You can also use your polling visualizations as marketing tools, social media images, and as a way to get more people to engage. Take the infographic below, for example. This company polled their audience and created this cute little infographic with their findings. Not only does this serve as an advertisement for their product, but it also:


  • Makes the customers polled feel like they made an impact
  • Serves as an image that can be used in various materials (blogs, emails, promotional materials, etc.)
  • Creates the perfect advertisement, whether just through social media shares or through intentional ad creation

You can also poll your audience on customer service and use that information as training materials for your employees.


Not only does this show your customer base that you care enough to make changes, but it shows your employees that their actions have a direct effect on the business. All with one poll and one pretty visual!

Start Polling, Start Visualizing

Remember that polls can take many forms; you can collect data on a person-by-person basis, create an email survey, ask your followers on Twitter – whatever works for you and your bottom line. While not everyone in your customer base or contact list is going to respond, those that do will have valuable feedback. Your efforts in polling and acquiring feedback won’t go unnoticed either; potential customers and converts spend more time Googling the information you’ve put out there than you know!


Think about how many ways you could use your poll-collected data; you don’t have to just poll your audience and keep the data to yourself. Sharing your findings with your audience (and with potentially new audience members) can do absolute wonders! Start collecting data and use that information to the fullest.

Another Way to Use Infographics: E-Courses!

Another Way to Use Infographics: E-Courses!

“Infopreneurs” are a new class of entrepreneurs providing their knowledge and expertise through e-books, email series, and e-courses. As anyone who has ever designed, created, and launched an e-course will tell you, half the battle is coming up with great content that people just can’t resist (and will pay for). The other half of the battle is wrapping all that information up in a visually-dynamic and beautiful package, ready to deliver. These infopreneurs and their launch teams know the power of great graphic design and visual content when trying to get something like an e-course off the ground.

Once again, this sounds like a job for… (insert superhero music) Infographics!

How Infographics Attract Paying Subscribers

You know you need to have great fonts, color schemes, and even attractive worksheets or templates for your course students, but have you given much thought to the visual appeal of the information you provide?

The average human attention span on any new website (no matter the content) is about 15 seconds, while some studies say our overall attention span is as low as 8 seconds. Naturally, interest is hopefully a bit higher in students who have paid for or are highly engaged in your materials, but those numbers are striking.


Are you wondering how you cut through this red tape with your e-course to make sure people are actually paying attention, absorbing the content, and then telling all their friends and family to hurry and sign up for the course, too?

Visuals Cut to the Chase (and Make You Smarter)

It takes about 250ms for a person’s brain to assign a value and interpret an image it sees. That means you’re well within that 8 to 15 second attention span window when you use something like an infographic to get the message across even faster. For your course, this may mean making a point with a single symbol or image, or drawing their attention to a set of information by using a colorful infographic.

People also report being 40% more engaged and more responsive when a visual piece of information is provided, rather than a piece of text. All of this is to say that your course participants, even before they sign up, will be interested in what you’ve got to say because you’ve shown them in a way that appeals to their brains.


Not only will your course participants be visually attracted to your images, but they will also absorb and retain nearly 65% of the information, as opposed to only 10% of what they read through text. This means they will spend less time engaging with your material but more time learning from it, which is what they’re paying for after all!

Infographics Activate Emotion (and Action)

Another often overlooked aspect of infographics is their ability to tie a call to action, information/data, and bright colors together. Any resource that can do this is a highly valuable one because it appeals to the rational and emotional centers of the brain.


Emotions are strongly tied to images, as anyone who has seen anti-drug or animal abuse ad campaigns can attest. You’re selling information, yes, but what will make it sell is by appealing to the visual centers of the brain that trigger a person’s desire to act.

And while a lot of this depends on what your infographics show, it’s also a reflection of the power of colors. There has been plenty of study on the effect that colors have on emotions, and within your e-course, color is (hopefully) a major determining factor in design.
With the right color and a thought-out set of data, your infographic can give your students the excitement to continue with the course, the trust to learn from your content, and can encourage them to let their creativity flow. All it takes is a commitment to creating quality, colorful infographics.


It’s Not Just a Way to Help Students Learn

The great part about infographics is that they are downright versatile. You won’t be able to find another piece of content that can be used in so many different ways, on so many different platforms. When you use the right infographic creation tools (like, you can create .jpeg or PDF files, but you can also embed links and URLs that allow you to create video infographics or shareable images. You can use infographics in your course modules themselves, yes, but there are many more ways to “get your money’s worth.”

This means that, when you create an infographic for your e-course, you can include it as part of the marketing campaign you use prior to launch, or as a social media/email link to get people to sign up for your course. You can also use infographics as printable resources for your students, or as video tutorials within the course. Some people even include them in their advertising banners! The options are endless. Could you do all that with text? Not with the same results!

“I don’t think I can use infographics in my e-course.”

Are you worried that infographics just aren’t a good fit for your e-course or your audience? Odds are, you have a different (and more narrow) definition of what an infographic is. There are tons of different templates (timelines, charts/graphs, and pre-made Vhemes that cover just about every subject) on, and you can make an infographic as simple or detailed as you like.


Instead of finding stock photos that don’t really match your message or don’t look all that great, create images that relate to your content and drive the point home. Boost your fantastic content for your e-course when you use infographics; your students will love saving the images for future reference and you’ll love how many times you can use the same piece over and over!

Why not have a marketing and teaching tool all wrapped in one? Start creating infographics for your e-course today, and notice happier students, increased registration, and even clearer content!
Have you used infographics in your e-courses? Are you going to start? Let us know in the comments or check us out on Facebook or Twitter!

Visual Simplicity with Jessica Hagy

Today, we had a great discussion with Jessica Hagy, master illustrator over at and author of amazing books like The Art of War Visualized and How to Be Interesting.

Jessica was nice enough to talk to us about her creative process, and about how she breaks down a seemingly complex idea into a simple, emotional, and “sticky” visual. She also expanded on the idea that images sometimes speak louder than words.

“The idea that you’re sharing matters so much more than what it looks like,” says Jessica, but a well-designed and well-thought-out visual definitely helps. If you’re considering starting a visual campaign with infographics, she recommends a number of tips to get started, such as:

  • Focusing on what you like and what speaks to you
  • Being cohesive with your message and style (once you’ve figured that out!)
  • Always putting the quality of the content above your need to advertise
  • Giving your audience the most relevant information first

We also had a really interesting discussion about infographics, visuals, content marketing, and brand unity. Jessica’s illustrations can be recognized from a dozen feet away; can you say the same for yours? Here, she sheds some light on the power that style, fonts, and design have in relaying a message.

Jessica didn’t stop there, giving us more tips on how often to share your infographic content and how to use (and reuse) visuals as evergreen content. We also talked in detail about the difference between selling an idea and selling yourself or your product/service in your graphics.

Bonus: She also gives the “magic resolution” number for sharing your images, so make sure you stick around ‘til the end!

For more on Jessica, check out her awesome articles on Forbes, especially “Self Promotion is Not a Sin” and “Prove You Matter: 5 Routes to Relevance.” You can also find her full list of publications, clients, and more at

A big thanks to Jessica Hagy for talking to us today… and to all you viewers.

Leave your comments and questions below, but most of all – start creating your own awesome infographics!

Common Core and the Importance of Visual Learning

In the States, it’s the start of the Back to School season. If you’re a parent, you’ve probably already hustled through the store aisles trying to find those pencils, notebooks, and backpacks. If you’re an educator, you’ve probably spent the better part of your summer gaining new knowledge yourself, training for new district standards, and creating awesome lesson plans. Many of our educational users – teachers, educators, homeschoolers, and even school districts – have also started emphasizing EdTech in their summer trainings, lesson development, and the like.

One EdTech aspect that we’re quite familiar with here at is the push for visual learning in (and out of) the classroom. Education no longer looks like it did when we were younger; teachers are moving away from textbooks and moving more towards unique types of engagement. Even Common Core structures are helping to foster an environment where visual communication and representation of information is commonplace.


As you can see in the infographic above, 65% of people (your students!) learn through visual input, and visual data is actually retained longer. So what does this mean for your classroom?

Embrace the Visual Frontier

As a teacher, whether you’re freshly graduated or a seasoned vet, you know that adapting to your students’ needs is the most important part of your career. In today’s digital world, students are more engaged on a visual level than ever before, which means that reading from a boring old textbook just isn’t going to cut it. It also means that you have to “hit home” for your students, and use creativity and innovation to really get through to them.

On top of that, new requirements from the Common Core curriculum emphasize the use of multiple modalities to demonstrate learning. Students don’t just take notes and then take a test anymore; they have to show that they’ve absorbed what they’ve learned by reiterating it in a few different ways.

According to the Common Core State Standards, students have to demonstrate competency by:

  • Integrating visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
  • Integrating and evaluating content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

(That sounds like a job for infographics!)


What better way to meet CCSS than by utilizing tools like to help students interpret information, visually retain it, and work with technology in new ways?

Why Should You Use Infographics in Your Classroom?

We talk a lot about the statistics behind visual data here on, and if you’re interested in reading up on just how important and versatile visual learning is, check out our “Infographics for Every Subject” blog here. But the statistics are just one part of the visual learning movement. Teachers are also finding that their students are more engaged when they are visually entertained, and actually enjoy creating their own visuals to represent what they’re learning.

Teachers and educators aren’t limited to creating and using infographics to teach students – students can teach and share their own infographics to demonstrate CCSS benchmarks and be entertained at the same time. The classroom dynamic is changing, and students are on the front lines of an entirely digital world.

Infographics are becoming quite the tool in a number of places, from the classroom to the boardroom and anywhere in between. The reality is that displaying information in succinct and creative ways is the information carrier of the future. Give them the tools to demonstrate what you’ve taught them, and also give them tools to prepare them for the future.


If you would like to see just what you can do with’s Creation Tool to help your students hit the CCSS benchmarks, check out our awesome Reading Information and Reading Literature Standards:

The Rise of EdTech and How One Teacher is Making the Most of It

Sonia Guilana has been a high school English and German teacher since 1996, and has been an IT trainer for the Department of Education in Catalonia, Spain since 2005. She also just happens to be one of’s most engaged users, and it’s been a pleasure interacting with her on Twitter (@sguilana).

We love the tagline on her 21st Century Teaching website:

“It’s an exciting time to be an educator. Society is currently undergoing a revolution and Compulsory Education needs serious rethinking if we want to engage our students.”

As those of us in the States are right on the edge of another school year, we couldn’t agree more. Tons of teachers are starting to explore ways to incorporate today’s technology to education, entertain, and inform their students. Since Sonia is both a teacher and an IT trainer, we wanted to get a taste of what she knows about infographics and how they can be used to learn and explore in the classroom.

Techie Teachers

Sonia explains that, along with other methodologies, she enjoys using infographics in the classroom to “convey info in a more engaging and powerfully communicative way, and to unleash students’ creativity when presenting their projects.”

Sonia’s website, Techie Teachers, is another great resource for anyone looking to introduce technology and its many assets to their classroom. She frequently uses infographics in her English Language classes, and encourages students to incorporate what they’ve learned with visuals.  

With her 14-year-old students, she creates infographics to discuss different topics, like inventions that change the world:


Sonia told us: “I am happy to use to help my students visualize information and transform it into learning at all levels, both primary and secondary, but also [at the] college level.” Because infographics are easily adapted to new units and different subjects, they are the perfect visual communication tool. Sonia uses because it’s simple to introduce to students, and they can grasp the Creation Tool easily (see what we did there?).

She incorporates infographics for a variety of units, and has students both learn from infographics she provides and teaches them to create their own infographics. Sonia has also found that using visuals helps engage students much more than using written worksheets or lessons (see the comparison below).



Sonia’s students get to create plenty of digital work for their units, and they also compile an e-portfolio. This highlights what they’ve learned, how they’ve applied it, and can showcase that learning in highly visual and intriguing ways.

Teaching Teachers

Sonia is so passionate about EdTech that she also teaches teachers about it, and has programs that she runs with the Department of Education in Catalonia, as well as by herself. Her modules for Ateneu, a Catalan online learning tool, discuss everything from copyright issues in visual education to which platforms to use to make a teacher’s life easier. If you’re curious about visual communication in your classroom, we highly recommend checking the link out!

On her personal program website, Teaching Teachers, Sonia also shares her insights into visual communication and how it can affect a student’s ability to engage, contribute, and think critically in today’s technology age. She has a ton of great resources for teachers who are interested in moving forward as contributors and challengers of traditional, outdated modes of teaching.


We at also learned a new word from Sonia: infoxication. She says, “In a time of ‘infoxication,’ or massive information overload, visual presentation of data is the way to help effectively save time and make it more memorable.” We couldn’t agree more, and we believe teachers are seeing this rising trend as well.

Thankfully, more and more teachers just like Sonia are exploring ways to interact with their students in increasingly engaging and effective ways. If you’re hoping to find more ways to stay up-to-date with visual communication, graphic learning, and more, follow’s blog and check us out on Twitter ( to what we share about EdTech every week!

Social Sharing and Audience Growth: A True Story

At, we share a lot of advice on how infographics can be used to increase your website traffic, grow your business, or even just help you grow your audience. And all of the advice we give you is easy to implement, helpful, and it really works. How do we know that? We’ve seen it in action!

Case Study: Claire Roper

One of’s users, Claire Roper, happens to be a social media expert who runs her own website, She also has a blog and Facebook page dedicated to her hometown in New Zealand, Otaki (pronounced Oar-Tar-Key), where she discusses fun things to do and content relevant to New Zealand in general.


Now living in London, though, Roper is also a huge fan of sharing her content and social media marketing knowledge with her new community.

To do so, she has started a face-to-face workshop (Yes! In real life!) called “50 Shades of Social Media” where she discusses a variety of ways to promote yourself, your brand, or your business. As part of this workshop, she teaches people about the power of infographics and how to use programs like to create them, share them, and more.


Roper frequently uses to create infographics, either for her Otaki site or to share on her social media.

“I enjoy the pure ease of this product, it’s simple to use and you don’t have to be a creative or graphic designer to ensure your infographic looks amazing. I enjoy the simple drop and drag element as well as being able to upload my own images.”

Since introducing as a section of her “50 Shades of Social Media,” Roper has also benefited from a 10% rise in registration! Aside from her workshop, she likes to experiment with her digital content, see what works and what people respond to, and challenge herself to create new and more relevant infographics and images. Her target audience is her best indication of what works and what doesn’t.


Increased Visibility

Since starting to use infographics, Roper has seen an increase in comments and interaction on her blog and social media, and she has doubled her traffic.

“Social sharing has seen the biggest rise in statistics. Sharing infographics on Otaki Zilchoo’s Facebook page [resulted in] a 50% increase in likes on individual posts (which had the infographic) and customer reach rising from a standard 220 views to 640 views.”

Claire is a prime example of the power of infographics and visuals, especially when it comes to audience engagement on your website and social media.

If you’d like to hear more about real users increasing their web traffic, conversions, or even profit margins by using infographics and, stay tuned! We will be spotlighting users and their stories each month on’s blog.

Great Tips

Check out Claire’s website for a ton of helpful information on social media and content marketing, like her article, “Ever Wondered What Colors to Use With Your Image?”  

If you’d like to check out some of Claire’s creations, here are a few links to her infographics:

You can also follow her on Twitter @ClaireMRoper for tips on content marketing and visual data creation! Follow @easel_ly to get updates on our latest “true stories” and to see what other great stuff we have to share.