This week for my technical communications class, we were asked to create an infographic using the strategies and tips we learned in our assigned readings. We were also given some tools to use to help those of us who were really new to graphic design (that’s me!).
I settled on Piktochart’s graphics design site. They had a lot of clean modern templates that appealed to me. I also liked the tutorial provided, there was both a video and helpful pop up tips as you explored the site initially. Continue reading
Reading a post by Brenda Forrey was very helpful to me as someone who is learning about information based graphics for the first time. Her post was titled “On Constructing an Inforgraphic: A Newbie Reflects on the Experience”. The post was very reassuring to me in that I was able to see someone else who had the same difficulty starting out. Reading her post she described the process of going about making the infographic and also what program she used to make it– Piktochart. Since reading her post I have added this to my bookmarks for future use.
Her post is very easy to read and well laid out. She broke it into three segments which focus on three different areas of difficulty in the process along with the resolutions she came to. Her emphasis on statistic gathering was helpful to remind me that when I make an infographic it is important to find the statistics before trying to decide how to lay them out visually. She included a couple of sites which she used to get the information which was helpful as well.
My only complaint with her post is that the finished infographic is not able to be seen in full size. She has a small picture of it to the side of her post but I am not able to expand it to look through how she laid out the information and graphics in greater detail.
One of the most influential parts of effective techcomm for me is how to create an effective info graphic. For most businesses, and industries, presentations and visual representations are used to convey ideas, facts, and opinions. Learning what the eye is drawn to, and how that relates to how the information is taken in by the reader really helped be to understand what is necessary and what is not necessary when it comes to info graphics. Learning about correct techniques to implement on info graphics helped me to decipher what is ethical when creating info graphics. This meaning showing the true and honest factual information in a way that is just as effective as it would be if the truth was smudged a little. Since learning about info graphics and what it takes to create an effective one, I really have been more diligent on how I present my information. This I can take with me for years into my field of mechanical engineering.
I feel as though one of the topics that we’ve covered in class that has changed the way I approach my work is Inforgraphics. Graphics are the pictures in technical communication: drawings, maps, photographs, diagrams, and tables. An infograph can be considered as a visual representation of information. Infographics help explain information in an easier way. Instead of having to write out every part of a machine, a picture of the machine with parts labeled will help the audience better understand the information. If the writer just writes out the information of parts, the audience will have to use their imagination to see where the part would lie on the machine. Whereas if there was a diagram of the machine that is labeled, the audience could understand what the writing is saying, and be able to see the part in the diagram. This will clarify information to the audience. Lastly, infographcis help with the idea of how to express information. Sometimes creating a table with information is better than writing out a list, or a diagram would help express information better than a photograph. This topic will help me in the future to understand how, as an engineer, to express information to a certain audience. It all depends on who the audience is, to determine how to express the infograph. You don’t need every equation shown to a customer to describe how the product works. Instead, a picture or diagram of the product with step-by-step instructions will explain the information to a customer must easier than the equations used to determine the product.