7 Awesome Visualization Tools to Bring Out Your Inner Graphic Designer

by 17 03/20/2014

They say a picture is worth a thousand words—but online, a chart or infographic could be worth a thousand backlinks.

What’s that you say? You’re the farthest thing from a graphic designer?

No problem.  Here are seven of our favorite online visualization tools that make all that data creative, fun and engaging.

Dipity

dipity

Dipity is an online tool that lets you create interactive timelines. Within each timeline, you can create a number of events. Each event is clickable and has its own description and comments, as well as links to share the timeline tidbit on social media.

With a free account, you can add up to 150 different events, but you’re limited in the design and branding of your timeline.  A premium account (starting from $4.95/month) gives you more customization options, analytics and much more.

Easel.ly

easely

Easel.ly lets you create your own infographic from among dozens of stylish templates, including Venn diagrams, bar charts, “road maps” and social charts.  You can also use a blank template as a starting point for your own designs, but each template contains its own customizable options.

Easel.ly is currently in beta, meaning there may be some bugs or other issues crop up—but it’s free to use, and of this writing, over 400,000 infographics have been created through their service.

Gliffy

gliffy

Want to create a chart without all the fuss and flair?  Gliffy is the tool for you.  Whether you need a diagram, flowchart or analysis, you can create them all online with this drag and drop web-based program.

If you find yourself creating certain types of charts often, you can add them to a sort of “favorites” for frequent use.

 iCharts

icharts

iCharts allows you to easily create vibrantly colored, easily understandable charts of all kinds.  Used by well-known companies including Coca-Cola, the International Retail Federation and MarketWatch to name a few, iCharts lets you load Excel spreadsheets, Google Drive documents or type data in manually.

You can then use their pre-defined design templates to make your charts fully interactive, automatically.  Because the charts are hosted in the cloud, updating them is simple and hassle-free.

Plus, they’re SEO-friendly and can be embedded in newsletters, social networks and websites.

LovelyCharts

lovelycharts

LovelyCharts makes diagrams in the same way as many of the other resources listed here. However, what sets it apart from the crowd is the fact that it’s available nearly everywhere—including as a desktop application, mobile app (for iPad) and as a web-based tool.

You can drag and drop the built-in images or import your own and save the resulting document as a JPG, PNG or PDF.  Even if you have the graphic design skills of a shoe, you’ll find LovelyCharts’ interface lets you create some stylish, easy-to-follow charts with zero hassle.

Piktochart

piktochart

One of my personal favorites, Piktochart lets you create beautiful infographics in just a few clicks.   With a variety of templates to choose from, many spanning specialized themes including holidays and specific industries, there’s no shortage of inspiration here.

Just add your statistics and symbols to instantly get a beautiful infographic that’s ready to share online. Discounts are available for non-profits and educational institutions and monthly packages start at $29/month (with discounts applied if you order for a quarter or a year).

Canva

Although it’s still in beta, Canva allows anyone to easily create flyers, business cards, Facebook covers and other types of graphics without the need for a graphics editor.

canvaWith over one million images in its graphics library (many of the free or available for as low as $1), Canva brings drag-and-drop simplicity to the world of design, letting anyone express themselves and create stunning graphics in minutes.  Canva is currently free to sign up and use.

Bonus Site

Now that you’ve got the tools, where do you get the stats? Good question. Here’s my recommendation:

statbrain

If you’re short on data, take a look at Statistic Brain. They provide the research behind some of the world’s most successful and highest trafficked news sites, including the Huffington Post and Wikipedia.

From coffee drinking statistics to cyber bullying and everything in between, you’ll find a wide range of statistics spanning dozens of industries, political goals and more.

What are some of your favorite visualization tools?  Share them with me in the comments!

 Check out other Crazy Egg articles by Sherice Jacob.

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Sherice Jacob helps website owners improve conversion rates with custom design, copywriting and website reviews.  Get your free conversion checklist and web copy tune-up by visiting iElectrify.com.

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17 COMMENTS

Frank Rodriguez

Terrific share – very valuable!

March 20, 2014 Reply

Alison Sansone

I eat CrazyEgg for breakfast just about every morning – this one tops my list of bookmarks. THANKS Sherice!

March 20, 2014 Reply

    Sherice Jacob

    CrazyEgg and coffee are my morning routine too! Thanks for the kind words, Alison!

    March 20, 2014 Reply

Scott @ Kawntent

Good bye boring stats, hello attractive looking ones! They can even act as an easily sharable how-to for your site, or why it’s awesome. For business though (the ones for the boss), I use Chartio. It makes data visualization so much easier for me.

March 21, 2014 Reply

Paul Serwin

What a powerful post Sharice. There’s a lot of resources here that I haven’t stumbled upon yet and that I find very useful. Thanks for sharing!

March 21, 2014 Reply

Ana Verrusio

Sherice, thank you for writing this! You have compiled a wonderful list of tools for businesses. The one tool I was quite familiar with is Canva. They provide YouTube tutorials to guide people on just about every design option. My favorite thing about their tutorials is how brief they are; they are all about 30 seconds long!

March 22, 2014 Reply

chawki trabelsi

Thank you Sherice for this article. These visualization graphic tools are awesome. Not only infographics create brand awareness for our business but they are highly shareable on social media like (twitter, likes, google+ ect…). Yes Ana I found Canva that is a good tool to create stunning graphics.

March 23, 2014 Reply

Jeff Zabel

Great post Sherice and a great list of resources. Since it seems you love visualizations and coffee, I thought you might dig a couple of our latests posts on the subject:
Countries That Drink the Most Coffee and Coffee Production Visualization Through the Years.

If you’re looking for other new visualization tools, we’d love to get your feedback on DataHero.

March 28, 2014 Reply

Coleta

Canva is my favorite. I’m addicted to that site. The more I use it the more new neat things I’m discovering.

April 6, 2014 Reply

    Sherice Jacob

    I could spend *hours* just playing around with Canva. It is so much fun, even for a graphic designer :)

    April 23, 2014 Reply

Jacqueline Fairbrass

Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing this information.

April 7, 2014 Reply

Andrew Richards

life just got a whole lot easier. I’ve been creating graphics with photoshop and illustrator, but the other ones you listed here are going to be a time saver. Thanks!

April 23, 2014 Reply

    Sherice Jacob

    You’re quite welcome! Photoshop and Illustrator are still going to be the tools of the trade…but if you’re not exactly *in* the trade, these visualization tools will definitely get you on the right track (and make you look good in the process!)

    April 23, 2014 Reply

    neil

    Andrew, glad we could help. Thanks for the feedback :)

    April 23, 2014 Reply

Chris Boulanger

Just used Canva yesterday after seeing it in this post a while back and bookmarking it. It’s very easy to use and also more versatile than I expected. I like being able to create profile photos, social post images and presentation images. Thanks fore the referral.

October 17, 2014 Reply

    Neil Patel

    Chris, it’s the easiest way to get images up and it’s the most cost effective too!

    October 19, 2014 Reply


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