Infographics are great. They provide an audience-friendly, engaging way to present almost any kind of data in an entertaining way that is also hugely shareable. Basically, they can be content marketing gold and can jazz up a very boring business presentation beautifully.
The problem is that as they are essentially serious works of graphic design, they can be very hard for an amateur to put together by themselves. However, Infogram attempts to help solve that problem by offering a drag and drop interface to help anyone create an effective, good-looking infographic.
Or that is the claim anyway. But can it really be that easy if you are in no way artistic at all?
Signing up for Infogram is easy and free. Especially easy in fact, as you can log in using either a Google or a Twitter account with no further registration needed. A little thing perhaps, but convenient as heck if you are bad with passwords.
Initially, you are only presented with three basic infographic templates and a half dozen other options – chart, Facebook post, map – to start off with which seems pretty stingy. There is also an option to create graphics-heavy charts of a number of different kinds that could if you so desired, be imported into an infographic at a later point.
An upgrade to Pro Status gives you access to 30+ more basic templates, the ability to download your finished piece as a PDF – something that is not available to free users- and various ways to make presentations hosted online private, as by default for a free user they are public.
Once you have chosen a template, a dashboard opens up that is less intuitive than an absolute beginner will feel comfortable with. This means you will have to spend time getting used to the various text and image options available to you. It would help if there were some kind of video tutorial but at the time of writing there is not. Bummer.
It can, however, be helpful to look at the example of other people’s work so that you can draw some ideas and inspirations. And as you can edit some of these examples, it’s also a nice little cheat if you are really lost.
Once you have become familiar with the interface, creating your infographic is indeed quite easy. Watching factoids and numbers, your input becomes illustrations on the screen can be cool to watch and looks pretty good to boot.
It should be noted that in the free mode, the infographics you can create are neat, clean, but pretty basic. If you upgrade, you have access to more features of course, including far better image options.
In terms of the insertion of charts, the number of visual options for the charts themselves is impressive at any of the member levels. And getting a little creative with a chart – a bubble chart, for example – can add tons of visual interest to a simple presentation.
The final results can only be shared via a link in free mode; you will need to pay for a pro upgrade in order to save the piece of your computer, something that makes a pro account almost essential. Boo.
Given that we’ve determined a Pro membership is a must, how much is that going to set you back? Packages run from $19 per month for an individual plan to $119 per month for a team. There is also something called the Enterprise Package, but you have to call for pricing on that, so give that to mean NOT CHEAP.
If you want to create graphics-heavy infographics, with cute cartoons and stuff, this is not the right choice for you, as there are better options out there.
If, on the other hand, you are creating a serious business presentation, the professional-looking results you can get that can be used to add a little life and interest to otherwise dull figures are impressive. In fact, Infogram has the potential to be a great choice as a go-to tool for business charting and infographics, as long as you do not mind the $18 a month price tag that really has to be paid if you really want to get proper use out of all it has to offer.