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App review: Piktochart infographic maker

Piktochart infographic maker app review

January 27, 2015

Infographics – we can’t get enough of them. Name a subject and there’s an infographic on it.

So how hard is it to create a visual treat for the masses? Not as difficult as you may imagine – thanks to the arrival of Piktochart.

The web-based application – which also has an iOS version – allows comms professionals to create infographics to enhance corporate storytelling.

With Millenials becoming ever more prominent in the workplace, our need to deliver striking visual content is becoming more important.

So does Piktochart deliver the goods?

Before ploughing into the workings of this super app, I have three things that should be disclosed from the outset:

1. I have used Photoshop for numerous years but to say I’m proficient in it would be a huge exaggeration.
2. Whenever I play Pictionary, my team loses. A reflection of my artistic ability? Undoubtedly.
3. Patience is not a virtue I possess.

Now these facts are public knowledge, let’s delve into the world of Piktochart.

Piktochart review
Piktochart review

Above is the infographic I created for Headlines’s sister company – HPP.

Download the full version of the infographic – looking at communication trends in UK membership organisations – here.

Of course, there’s better out there but I’m as close to being a competent designer as I am to being signed up to star in the next season of Game of Thrones.

Bearing in mind my artistic limitations, I was happy with it. Piktochart is designed to make infographic creation as simple as possible – and it delivers.

It’s free too, provided you’re happy using basic templates.

More eye-catching options are also available but you have to spend a few pennies to use them. It will not, however, break the bank.

With two million registered users (you have to sign up to create anything), Piktochart is obviously doing something right. Launched as a beta in 2012, the infographic maker has refined its approach to deliver an easy-to-use experience.

The earlier reference to Photoshop is relevant. Like so many other web-based tools, those skills can be adapted to help acclimatise to the new platform.

It’s not a Photoshop clone but the basic premise is similar, giving those with PS experience an advantage to those coming in cold.

The templates and the step-by-step guidance for beginners work well – allowing newbies to learn the ropes without too much difficulty.

The options and possibilities for creative wonder are extensive. For the more advanced, these options are essential. However for the more limited, like myself, they can be a little baffling.

Learning a new platform takes time.

By my third sitting I was beginning to circumnavigate Piktochart with ease, experimenting with abandon and enjoying the logical yet creative elements to the app.

Even on the basic offering, Piktochart offers reams of possibilities providing the perfect opportunity for long-hidden creative spirits to run wild. The initial templates are rigid but spending cash will negate that minor gripe.

You need do need patience though and herein lies the rub. Piktochart is an excellent platform, intuitive and capable of turning dull content into a tasty treat for the eyes.

However it takes time to familiarise yourself with the set-up and, even then, there’s no guarantee that your efforts will be rewarded with a stunning masterpiece.

This type of project does depend – to a degree – on your inner creative flair. As I said earlier, I’m chuffed with my infographic above.

But even my most ardent fan would not dare to suggest it compared positively to the work coming from Headines’ design studio.

Try our Engage for Success infographic for a start.

Not only that, this infographic took hours to create. With practice, this process would speed up but it is a commitment you need to be prepared for if you wish to head down this route.

Time is such a precious commodity for comms professionals – both their own and the audience’s.

Could you really justify taking the best part of a working day to make a single infographic?

And say then the big boss doesn’t like it? Or the information changes? Back to the drawing board.

Such factors are outside Piktochart’s control and to judge the app on them would be unfair. However they are relevant considerations for comms professionals who are thinking about dipping their toes into the creative mix.

As far as the product goes, I would be surprised to find a more robust and user-friendly infographic-making application. Yet the creation of top-quality infographics – especially if you’re seeking that elusive ‘wow’ factor – is an art.

It’s worth considering these factors before diving in. It could save you a lot of time in the long run.

Verdict: Piktochart
Platform: Web browser. iOS.
Final thought: Piktochart is an exceptional product. Logical and user-friendly, it provides the tools to create visual communication with relatively little creative know-how.
The more you use it, the better you’ll get as the platform becomes second nature. Whether that commitment of time will be a worthwhile investment is your call.
But Piktochart offers you a choice – and is the perfect tool to deliver the visual comms that are so popular today. Exceptional.
Rating: 9/10.