Make images that pop 🌟
Why you should try Genially for interactive visuals
Genially lets you quickly create interactive images, graphics and presentations. This post explains how to use the service. You’ll also see some examples below.
Take a look 👁👁
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How to get started ✅
Start by picking the type of visual you’d like to create.
Start from a template in one of these categories or a blank slate. Then upload whatever photos or graphics of your own you want to include. Or pick from Genially’s library to begin adding content. You can also add text if you want or icons, shapes or other assets from Genially’s library.
Decide on a few supplemental links or bits of info that will help your viewer get the most out of your visual. These will become hotspots that viewers can click on to see additional content.
You can include just about anything as a hotspot. Examples include YouTube videos, background info from Wikipedia, or links to a social post. Or just add short explanatory text that pops up to provide further context.
Once you’ve dropped in hotspot markers and added links or text, you can adjust where they are placed or customize the icons that show what’s clickable.
Grab the share link to post your interactive image online or send it to someone. You can also embed it in a site. It’s an easy, fast and free way to make interactive graphics without any code or technical expertise.
Neat things you can create with Genially 🎨
Make an annotated timeline ⏳
Start by picking a timeline template you like. Some incorporate illustrations, others photos or just text. Edit the dates. Add images if you want. Add text titles for the events. Then add hotspots to link dates, images or text to sites. You can even record a simple narration if you want.
Examples: Genially’s one-page timeline guide includes templates
Create an interactive presentation 💫
Rather than a slide deck with static text and images, use Genially to let people choose which aspects of your presentation they want to dig into more deeply. Make key words, numbers, or images on any slide clickable so that people can see related videos, images, or more information.
Check out more examples and templates.
For other options, here’s my post about the best tools for creating great slides.
Share a living document 📃
Make a simple resource or explainer for colleagues or clients. Start by pasting some key facts, images or data onto a Genially page. Then add linked hotspots so your colleague can click through to see related videos, Web pages, or text boxes.
Here’s an example of an annotated diagram of a cell created in Genially.
Set up your simple link-in-bio page
Using a free template, you can create a simple personal landing page that links to your various sites and social accounts. You can then share your landing page link in your email signature, in your Twitter bio, or wherever else you want to give people a way to find out more about you.
Quick ways to learn Genially
Genially is intuitive and easy to use, but for more advanced features, it’s nice to have help. The company has a searchable, step-by-step help resource, an academy with lessons, visual micro-lessons or“learning pills,” and a useful YouTube channel.
Founded in Spain in 2015, Genially is available in Español, Français, Português, Italiano, and English. More than 20 million people use it, so you’ll find lots of useful YouTube videos, Pinterest boards, and posts for teachers.
You can use Genially for free to make an unlimited number of visuals. Premium plans starting at $90/year (less for edu customers) provide additional features, like premium templates, privacy controls, and downloadable PDFs.
Limitations and considerations 🙁
Many of the templates have clip-art-style images and a school-design sensibility. And other templates promote poor design choices, like using a tiny font and filling pages with too much text. There are some usable templates, but you have to dig to find the ones that look professional.
Not everyone who encounters your interactive visual will realize they can click on hotspots for related info or links. To address this challenge, Genially lets you provide visual hints about what can be clicked. For example, you can have a clickable hotspot wiggle or change color when someone hovers over it with their mouse. In addition to adding that kind of animation, you can also add background audio to give people guidance on what to click on. I tried both approaches with my digital poster.
The free version includes a Genially watermark on your creations. I don’t mind that, but for professional purposes you may want a paid account to add your own logo. Free users aren’t able to access analytics, and other advanced features are similarly behind a paywall.
Thinglink is another useful tool for adding hotspots to images. As with Genially, you can invite a collaborator and then when done, you can share a link to your creation. One unique feature: Thinglink specializes in 360 imagery, and has a library of 360 visuals so you can annotate your own 360 visuals or others’ immersive pictures of places around the world.
Canva, my favorite simple design resource, lets you add links to your designs. These can point to external sites or to other pages in your design doc or presentation. Canva, however, can’t match all of Genially’s interactive bells, i.e. adding pop-up text or special effects to hotspots on your doc that show up when someone scrolls over or clicks on something.
Prezi Design is one of the new services from the company famous for slide presentations that zoom in and out. You can use this for infographics, presentations and other interactive visuals. I find the interface clunky, though, and I wouldn’t recommend it over the aforementioned options.
Note: I have no affiliate relationship or any other connection to Genially. As always, this is my independent take on the service’s strengths and limitations.
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