AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators

TAG | images

Hello, my name is Jayne Corso and I am the Community Manager for AEA. Posting on multiple social media sites requires good imagery, and on a low budget this can be tough. Images make your content eye-catching and can even add context to a post. On all channels, posting with images out preforms those without images. Canva is an easy and free way to create your own graphics, charts, infographics, and images. Today, I will show you how to create an image using free Canva formats, layouts, and photos.

Rad Resource: Choose your format

Each social media channel has a preferred image size. This size will allow your photos to be clearly viewed in a newsfeed. Canva takes the guess work out, and helps you create images specifically for each channel. They have an array of sizes you can choose from. You can even create a custom design by entering your own dimensions. For this example, we will be choosing the Facebook post format.

Rad Resource: Find a Layout

Canva offer many free layout that you can edit with your own content. Simply click on the layout you like and it will be added to your canvas.

Rad Resource: Edit your image

Once you have selected your desired layout, you can now add photos and text to your image. If you have a photo you would like to use, simply upload it to Canva under “uploads”. If you don’t have a photo, you’re in luck. Canva offers high quality stock photos for free. Browse the collection and find the one that works for your graphic. Once you find the photo, drag it onto the canvas.

Next, click on the text of your image and update the content. You can also change the color of text and backgrounds as you desire.

Once you are happy with your creation, download your image by selecting the “download” button in the right corner. Now you can post it to Facebook and promote your webinar!

I look forward to seeing lots of designs in my newsfeed!

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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Happy Saturday readers!  I’m Liz Zadnik, aea365 Outreach Coordinator and Saturday contributor with some tips on using images in blog posts.  Breaking up paragraphs with high-quality stock images, graphics, and/or visualizations help readers stay on your site, digest information, and motivate them to share your brilliance with the world.    

Cool Trip: Get to know your computer’s already-installed image editor.  Did you know PowerPoint (or Keynote for Mac users) has image-editing capabilities?  You can remove backgrounds, crop, recolor, and create an image that’s perfect for your needs and branding.  You can edit or create an image in the application and then “Save as a Picture” to your desktop for later use.  Just make sure the image is one that can be edited and shared.  We’ll cover that in a second.

Screenshot of Microsoft PowerPoint Picture Tools Ribbon with Annotations

You don’t need Photoshop to create beautiful images that will be engaging and look professional.  Try not to be intimidated by “photo editing” and exercise those creative muscles!   

Hot Tips: Selecting an image may seem easy enough, but there are a number of things to keep in mind:

  • Check out the quality of the image.  You may have seen the letters “dpi” accompany an image – this means dots (or pixels) per inch and gives you a sense of how crisp an image is.  For example, something that is five inches wide and 1000 pixels high would have 200dpi.  The higher the resolution, the more likely you are to be able to zoom in or crop without losing that “crispness.”  
  • Find candid and casual shots of people.  Move away from traditional stock photography to an image where the reader can imagine they’re a part of things.  
  • Make sure the image size fits with your webpage columns.  If you have a blog, check to see you how wide your main content column is – this will help you in avoiding images slipping over into your sidebar or messing with text.  It’s also important to make sure the image is aligned in such a way that text isn’t broken up along the side.  
  • Avoid images with watermarks.  First off, these are copyrighted or protected images for subscribers to stock photography sites and providers.  I understand that Creative Commons licensing can get confusing, but we need to respect our creator colleagues.  Secondly, it also doesn’t look very professional.   

Person with back to camera sitting at desk with a bright sun flare

Lesson Learned:  Something I’ve been trying to work on is making sure images are accessible using alternative text (“alttext”).  This includes crafting thoughtful and brief descriptions of images for folks using screen readers and other navigation devices, as well as when images cannot load on a specific page.  Visitors don’t lose the essence of your post just because they can’t access the visual content.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

 

My name is John Kramer and I am currently a Research Fellow at the Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts Boston. My work focuses on research and evaluation of employment outcomes of people with disabilities, participatory research, and aging issues for families of people with disabilities. I am a new member of the American Evaluation Association.

Tip:

  • Universal Design Principle 3 is “simple and intuitive”. Incorporating clear, simple language in writing while also providing concrete, every day examples improves access in two ways:
  1. it clarifies your intention as a writer and helps you focus on the basic idea you are trying to convey
  2. it allows for more stakeholder access and participation.

Hot tips:

  • Use plain language. This means substituting simpler words for more complex ones. It also means writing sentences that are free of excessive subordination. Also, try to avoid unnecessary modifiers like “really, totally, very, only, quite,” which may interfere with clarity.
  • Use concrete, accessible examples including images when helpful. Try to think of examples to illustrate your writing that are easy to picture and relate to. Using images is a good approach as well when appropriate.
  • Use clear, parallel examples in your writing. For instance, if you frame an example as noun, verb, recipient noun, then make sure all your examples use the same order of presentation.

Rad Resources

There are many good resources for how to incorporate plain language and images into your work. A few especially helpful ones around the web are:

  • Plainlanguage.gov -A website by the United States Federal government that gives some useful strategies and examples in using plain language.
  • Grammar Girl -A website that provides some basic tips and tricks to clarify your writing. Not for cognitive access per se, but elements can be useful in UD.
  • Picture Planner – A website that illustrates an example of how pictures can be used to facilitate cognitive access.
  • Creative Commons -Here you can find free pictures that you can use, often with attribution, to illustrate your work and writing.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating the Disabilities and Other Vulnerable Populations TIG (DOVP) Week. The contributions all week come from DOVP members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluator.

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If it’s Saturday it must be Susan! My name is Susan Kistler. I am the Executive Director for the American Evaluation Association and I contribute each Saturday’s post to the aea365 blog.

Today, I am going completely practical and broadly applicable. The range of opportunities that call for working with photographs is ever increasing, including incorporating into presentations, reports, webpages, and blogs, creating online profiles, and sharing with friends and family.

Rad Resource: drpic is a free online suite of tools for picture editing. It allows for easy cropping and resizing, rotation, contrast control and touch up. Plus you can add text and frame the picture. In particular, the cropping and resizing tools are sophisticated – as long as you realize that you can view the dimensions of your selections in the upper right hand corner of your page. I initially didn’t realize the dimension information was on the page until after multiple uses and had been guessing.

How does it work? Go to http://drpic.com/ and click on the upload prompt, browse for the photo that you wish to alter, click continue, edit your picture right in your browser, then click “Save to Disk” or “Save to Web.” You’re done! No registering, no paying, no hassles.

Hot Tip: Increasingly, if you work online such as with blogs, you may find that you are asked to post a URL of a picture rather than the picture itself. This basically means that you are adding a pointer to where a picture is available on the web. You can do so by using the “Save to Web” option on drpic – it will post your picture for you (careful, it will be public) and give you a share link to use in such instances.

Rad Resource: Stock photography can be expensive. On flickr, you’ll find literally millions of photographs shared under a Creative Commons license that allows for use in reports, online, and the like – as long as you give appropriate attribution to the photographer. There are a variety of Creative Commons licenses applied to photos – from freely usable with attribution only, to not usable in commercial works, to usable but only without modifications. Learn more about Creative Commons licensing, and access the millions of free pictures available online, at http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/.

This contribution is from the aea365 Daily Tips blog, by and for evaluators, from the American Evaluation Association. Please consider contributing – send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org.

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