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Enhancing data through the use of animation effects can go a long way in piquing your audience's interest. But more than just a nice, cool-looking effect, animation can actually aid your audience in the process of assimilating information as it is being presented.
While static graphs and charts give you all the information you need up front, without building curiosity or suspense, animation effects appeal to our perceptual psychology, as covered in our previous post on how to animate presentations,
Just think about how you would present a static bar chart versus a chart that slowly comes into view using animation. With the first, you would have no control over the pace at which information is delivered. With the second, however, you would more effectively orient the audience's focus and lead their eyes to specific points on the graph.
To help you apply this easily and quickly to your own slides, the online presentation and infographic tool Visme recently launched new animated charts with rollover effects, along with improvements to its existing chart module.
In this short tutorial (see video version below), we'll go over ways you can use its new features to automatically create animated charts with just a few clicks.
To begin, all you have to do is log into your Visme account or easily create one by visiting www.visme.co and typing in your name, email and password. Next, choose either a presentation or infographic template or start from scratch.
To simplify the process of finding the right template for your needs, the new Visme offers categories of infographic types you can choose from, which are located to the right of the search bar. Here, you can also type in a keyword related to your topic to find what you need.
If you're looking to create a report with several types of charts rather than just an individual graph, you can select the Reports category to view dozens of templates with a variety of charts and graphs in different styles. These can also be searched according to industry, such as marketing, business, non-profit, health, education and technology, among others.
Once inside the Visme editor, you can do one of two things: Create a new chart by selecting the Chart Tool icon from the left panel and clicking on "Make a Chart." Or modify an existing chart within a template by double clicking on it.
In either case, the chart engine will appear on your screen, and you'll see a spreadsheet area. Here is where you will insert your information, either by copying and pasting data from a spreadsheet or typing in the data, if it is a simple chart or graph with only a few data points.
You will also see new chart types you can browse through by clicking on the icons to the left of the chart preview area. There are now seven types in total: columm, bar, pie, doughnut, line, area and scatter plot.
Next, choose the chart or graph type that best meets your needs. For example, if your data consists of percentages that add up to 100 percent, then a pie or doughnut chart should be ideal. Or, if you want to show the relationship between data points across time, then a line graph might be the most effective.
You can now compare series of data within Visme, whereas before you were limited to visualizing a single data set. To do so, all you have to do is insert your additional rows of data below the first.
For example, if you want to compare online and offline donations received by your non-profit organization in the last six years, you can easily visualize the evolution using this type of chart, as seen above. You'll see that the graph or chart is automatically animated in the chart preview area.
Once you've inserted your data, you can now customize the look of your chart or graph, depending on which type you've selected from the left panel. To start, you can change any of the colors in your chart, including individual bar, line or pie segment colors, as well as the colors of the background, labels and titles.
You can choose from the colors stored in your global color palette, which saves hues applied previously within the same project, or you can insert the hex codes of your favorite color combinations (our post on 50 beautiful color combinations gives you hex codes you easily copy and paste to achieve the perfect look).
Or, if you're going for a more conservative and professional feel, you can also stick to monochromatic color schemes, which are simply shades, tints and tones of a single color.
Whatever you decide on, just make sure it is consistent with the visual style and theme of your presentation or infographic.
After you've decided on your color scheme, you can adjust other settings, such as the title and subtitle of your graph or chart. You can also choose whether to hide or display point markers, axes, values and the grid, which outlines columns and rows.
Also, you can turn the animation off and choose whether you want the individual values for bars or segments to appear on the graph or not.
To see if you like the overall look of your chart or if you would like to make adjustments, you can click on the Preview button at the top of your screen. In this mode, you will see the animation effects that were automatically added to your chart or graph, as well as the rollover values that appear when you place your cursor over each bar or segment.
To publish your chart, all you have to do is click on the Publish button at the top of your screen. Here, you'll find a link to your project which you can copy and share with others. Or if you want to embed your project on a website or landing page, you'll also be given an embed code to copy and paste where you desire.
Finally, if you want to download your project as a static image, you can save it as a JPG, PNG or PDF file. But if you want to conserve the animation, there's the option of downloading it as HTML5.
If you haven't already taken the new Visme for a test drive yet, you can sign up today for free and try it out for as long as you want. We would love to hear your feedback and impressions. Just drop us a line in the comments section below, and we'll get back to you!
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