Creating HIV & AIDS infographics with Easel.ly

By Aminata, YAHAnet intern

As 2015 approaches and the global campaign and fight against HIV & AIDS continue, we continue to use different methods to express and share our fight. A popular method that can be used globally is the use of infographics. With the help of easel.ly, an online tool to create and share visual ideas, the YAHAnet team experimented with creating infographics based on the UNAIDS 2011–2015 strategy of reaching ZERO.

The first step in creating an infographic is choosing the information: what message do you want to get across? Adhering to the theme of ZEROing in on HIV & AIDS, I decided to make an inforgraphic about ZERO New HIV Infections. Once I gathered all the necessary information I needed for my infographic, I was ready to create it. Easel.ly is a free online tool, which does not need to be downloaded. All you need to do is set up an account to store and save your graphics in order to continue working on them.

Easel.ly provided me with an art board to create my graphic and a few simple instructions. The first thing to do is select ‘vhemes’ (visual + themes). Depending on the type on information you have and the way you want to present your information, there are a variety of pre-designed vhemes to select from. Once you’ve selected a vheme appropriate for your infographic, you can add text, objects, icons, and shapes—or upload your own images to create your graphic.

    
                  Aminata's infographic                                    Deveney's infographic

After playing around with a couple of buttons and exploring my options, I enjoyed using easel.ly. At first I found the options limiting, but in the end, I preferred that because it helped me create an infographic that was concise and straight to the point. I liked the fact that you didn’t have to download the tool. You could upload images of your choice and you could save your work and come back to it later.

A couple of things I would change, just to make the experience of using easel.ly faster and less frustrating, would be having the option of other vhemes as well as creating your own. Also, I would suggest having less text and objects on the pre-designed vhemes. That way, it would be easier to insert the information I needed to create my infographic.

Overall, I had a good experience with easel.ly and appreciated the layout and instructions provided.

I'd love to hear about your experiences making infographics! You can comment below.

- Want some tips for using infographics to tell a story? Check out this VisualStoryLab blog post!
- Already have some experience with infographics? Try creating an infographic series like the one below from The Borum!