Hi all! My name is Gaelyn West and I serve as the State Government Representative and Board Member for the Southeast Evaluation Association (SEA). My work experience includes program evaluation, strategic planning, and grant development in state government.
One of the most important tasks that evaluators face is relaying their evaluation findings to a lay audience. Most often, evaluators do this with charts and graphs. However, infographics are rising to the forefront as an innovative way to display data quickly and clearly. Infographics are the visual representation of data. They can help tell the story of your evaluation in a creative and compelling way.
- The data used in your infographics should be reliable, timely, and relevant. Your data should always come from a credible source, should represent the most recent statistics available, and should not contain any distortions. In any case, your data should stand up to tests of reliability and validity.
- Remember The Six Basic Principles of Design:
- Unity / Harmony – proximity, similarity, continuation, repetition, rhythm
- Balance – symmetry, asymmetry, radial
- Hierarchy – trees, nests, weights, timeliness
- Scale / Proportion – size, ratio, divisions
- Dominance / Emphasis – highlight, color, size
- Similarity and Contrast – light and dark, bold and italic
- The purpose of an evaluation is to create an objective and compelling story that can help judge the merits of a program, improve a program, and/or generate new knowledge. Infographics can be used to illustrate information about the program context, implementation, need, or outcome/impact. Your infographics should highlight the story you want to tell about your evaluation findings.
- “Shareability”. Evaluators can customize Infographics to fit any shareable platform, such as reports, presentations, posters, and social media marketing. The list goes on! It is important to know the communication method your audience will most likely utilize and prefer. Will a one-page memo be the most effective way to share your evaluation findings? Would an interactive presentation, a video, or an online article work? You can easily tailor infographics to fit the chosen platform.
- Microsoft Excel: A common and versatile spreadsheet software for creating visuals.
- Microsoft PowerPoint: A common and easy to use presentation software.
- Venngage: A simple infographics creator with templates and customization options.
- Canva: A design program for creating Web or print visuals.
- Infogram: A drag-and-drop infographics creator offers flexibility and independence in designing visuals.
- Piktochart: A good beginner infographics creator in which users can customize set templates.
The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Southeast Evaluation Association (SEA) Affiliate Professional Development Week with our colleagues in the SEA Affiliate. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from SEA Affiliate 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.